Archive for blue states

Opportunity knocks: Democrats name 14 "Red to Blue" House candidates

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democrats donkey kicks gop elephant

Democrats think they have a chance to win some House elections in tough districts, and are adding even more targets as we speak. The DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) looks at candidates' fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals and then offers support to those who fit the bill.

However, winning back the House of Representatives wont be easy.

Via The Hill:

The committee named 16 candidates to the program, and three more districts with multiple Democratic contenders that the party has high hopes of winning. Two of those districts are open seat contests but are currently held by a Democrat.

The priority races are short of the 17 Democrats need to win in order to regain control of the House, an uphill battle especially in a midterm year where turnout is typically more favorable to Republicans.

Uphill battle, sure, but here's the part of The Hill's reporting that is key, because it drives home the obvious distinctions between Democrats and Republicans. It's the diversity, stupid:

Of the 16 candidates in the first round of Red-to-Blue districts, 10 are women, an historically high portion of the list that the committee argues is evidence of the Democratic Party’s diversity in contrast to the GOP.

No wonder the GOP continues to do everything they can to suppress the vote. Generally speaking, the more diverse the pool of voters, the more ballots cast for Democrats.

Full lists of Red-to-Blue candidates, districts, and races can be found at the link.

While we're at it, here's an idea: Elect more Progressives. While nearly any Democrat is preferable to a Republican, Dems who don't act, speak, and cast votes as Dems can pretty much blunt any victories, even if we were to achieve our dream of a Democratically-controlled House.

When those on the right bellow about how the left controlled both Houses during President Obama's first term, they leave out the part where Dems voted with Republicans or failed to support progressive issues (women's reproductive rights, for example).

All that said, one enormous priority remains: Get Out the Vote in 2014. As they say, when turnout is high, Democrats tend to win.

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Bill Moyers Calls Out the GOP -- And Good

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Bill Moyers

There's something about the congenial way newsman and journalist Bill Moyers captures the essence of what's going on around him -- soft spoken, folksy and stingingly right on. He's blessed with acute observational skills, an even-keeled disposition and a soothing sanity. As they said about Orson Welles, "he could read you the phone book and make it sound interesting."

Maybe it's his years of experience, his dulcet tones or that his guiding light is his moral compass, but when you want to know how things are in America, there's no greater source or voice of sanity that Moyers. He's not afraid to call out any inconsistency with human nature, no matter what political side your political beliefs. He doesn't really take sides. He observes and he comments. During the government shutdown he made an amazingly astute video.

Veracity Stew:

Moyers not only pointed out the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, but also reminded us of the days before this lunacy, when law was law, and lawmakers worked to change laws they didn't agree with, rather than deliberately sabotage the economy, stability, and reputation of the nation in childish protest:

“When the president refused to buckle to their extortion, they threw their tantrum. Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the Union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn the place down, sink the ship of state, and sow economic chaos to get their way. This says it all, they even shuttered the Statue of Liberty.”

If it were my choice, I'd make it mandatory viewing for any incoming or incumbent congress person or senator.

See if you don't agree.

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GOP's Gone With The Wind

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Tara
Tara - AKA The Capitol Building

John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, found a little budget money that wasn't effected by the government shutdown and he made an educational short to demonstrate how he plans on handling the problem of The Affordable Care Act with his close buddy Rafael 'Ted' Cruz.

In this clip, John Boehner is played by Vivian Leigh and Ted Cruz  is played by Butterfly McQueen. Oh, and the birthin' babies is played by Obamacare.

C'mon, you gotta believe this is how Boehner feels right about now. Talk about your betrayal. America, time to step into Vivian Leigh's shoes and show Ted Cruz how you really feel.

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Texas is blue-ming

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BLUEm bloom

Previously I posted a quickie that's worth a read: Three things that Texas needs to become a blue state (betcha Rick Perry can only name 2 of them). Here's the sequel.

Dear Democrats,

One word of advice: Persistence.

Love,

Laffy

Via the Los Angeles Times:

But after a generation's worth of Democratic failure, many are convinced the state is on the cusp of competitiveness, thanks to the rapid growth of Texas' minority population, especially Latinos, and a slow rebuilding of the party from the ground level — city, county, legislative offices — up.

"It's inevitable," said Matt Angle, a Democratic consultant [...]

Among those drawn by the prospect are some of the data-driven strategists of President Obama's campaigns, whose targeting and mobilization boosted black and Latino turnout and twice helped win such battlegrounds as Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada. They have dispatched field teams throughout the state, hoping to apply their organizing techniques to Texas, where millions of eligible minority voters have either failed to register or haven't bothered voting.

Three other words of advice: Turnout, turnout, turnout.

Bluing up Texas will take years, of course, but it didn't hurt to have the wonderful State Senator Wendy Davis filibuster the GOP's egregious proposals intruding upon women's privacy, bodies, and reproductive rights. She was the right kind of person who brought the right kind of attention to the wrong kind of legislation.

The Asian American population, though much smaller than that for whites or Latinos, is growing even faster.

If these citizens, many of them new voters, are registered and cast ballotstwo big ifs — Democrats are convinced they will transform Texas politics.

Of course, Republican-run states have made it tougher to register and cast ballots. Want to vote? Democrats need not apply.

Steve Munisteri, the Democratic party's state chairman, said, "No one's going to vote for you if they think you don't like them, even if they agree with you." And the GOP has made it crystal clear that they don't like people who don't look, sound, and think exactly as they do. Or who have vaginas.

Unfortunately, Democrats don't have anyone exciting "on the bench," meaning, few, if any, viable statewide candidates. We hear a lot about San Antonio's mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother, Joaquin, a congress member who pops up on the Tee Vee Machine a lot these days. However, neither seem interested in running for higher office, per the Times.

And then there's Wendy Davis, who hasn't ruled out a run for governor. She also hasn't ruled out the extreme difficulty of such an undertaking.

As I've written over and over again, and as the Times confirms, building Democratic strength by getting candidates into office from the bottom up (school boards, city councils, etc.) is the way to go. Meanwhile, Texas is and will turn bluer. But it won't happen quickly or easily.

Persistence.

Turnout.

Please.

chart texas blue gop v dem

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Three things that Texas needs to become a blue state (betcha Rick Perry can only name 2 of them)

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texas blue

Ruy Teixeira has a post at Think Progress that is encouraging if you're a Democrat. He discusses what it will take to turn Texas blue, even though the white vote in Texas remains overwhelmingly Republican. Please read the whole thing, but here's a sample:

[T]he quest for a blue Texas is going to have to be built on three pillars, only one of which is ongoing demographic change.  The other two are matching minority, particularly Hispanic, turnout to white turnout and elevating white support for Democrats.  In the latter area, if the Democrats can simply get their support to the 30 percent level — in other words, make the typical landslide among whites for the GOP just a little bit less of a landslide — they will be in a good position to stand on all three pillars and make their dream (and Greg Abbott’s nightmare) of a blue Texas come true.

Of course, of those three pillars, Rick Perry would only be able to remember two of them... maybe... on a good day.

oops rick perry smaller

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Texas GOP Chairman: State could become a battleground in 2016.

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bluish you don't look bluish

Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri believes Texas could become a swing state in 2016 if Hillary Clinton runs, but that Republicans will be up to the challenge. He takes the prospect very seriously, and unlike some in his party, he is refusing to dismiss it.

Real Clear Politics:

In an interview with RCP, [Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri] said that he has long taken seriously the possibility that Texas could become a battleground as early as 2016, particularly if Clinton becomes the Democratic standard-bearer.

“If she’s the nominee, I would say that this is a ‘lean Republican’ state but not a ‘solid Republican’ state,” he said. “I don’t know anyone nationally who’s scoffing at this. The national party leadership is aware and tells me they’re taking it seriously.

Munisteri said that he has had recent discussions with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus about the need to prepare for a significant change in the political dynamic here, noting that the need will likely become even more pressing in the next decade. That’s when Texas is expected to see its minority population rise more sharply -- as it adds as many as four additional electoral votes to make it an even shinier target for Democrats than it already is.

Republicans better brush up on their shiny new fake-big tent talk before anyone realizes they don't mean a word of it.

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Red states have higher traffic death rates than blue states

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FairWarning.org, an online, nonprofit publication that does public interest journalism, has found that red state voters are more likely to die in a traffic accident than blue state voters, per the L.A. Times:

The safety experts interviewed by FairWarning could not provide a specific reason why traffic death rates in red states were worse than blue states.

Red states do tend to be rural with wide-open spaces. People could be driving more in those states because they have less traffic or people could be driving at faster speeds, which makes collisions more dangerous.

Another factor could be seat belts. Just 85% of the people in the South use seat belts, the lowest rate of any region of the nation, according to a study this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Come on, red states, if you were really and truly "pro-life," it seems to moi that you'd go out of your way to preserve your own, your families', friends' and neighbors'. Besides, it's the law.

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