December 15, 2003
Working on the House

Kos highlights a couple of upcoming special elections, all of which involve open Congressional seats vacated by Republicans. One of these in particular, the South Dakota seat abandoned by convicted manslaughterer Bill Janklow, is a good pickup opportunity for Democrats, as the announced candidate is Stephanie Herseth, who nearly knocked off Janklow as a first-time office seeker in 2002. Kos is urging people to contribute to Herseth's campaign, an action which I echo.

There are a few good points made down in the comments of this post. For one thing, given the Democrats' early advantages in online fundraising, it would be a smart thing for the party to highlight a few winnable House seats and bang the drum for them on the DNC blog and everywhere else they can think of. For another thing, it would be even smarter for someone in the DNC to pay for the design of backend software for online donations that works well across OSes and browser versions which can then be freely given to any Democratic candidate that requests it. To be honest, I'm amazed some entrepreneur hasn't already done this and sold it to one party or the other.

I believe coordinated online fundraising for Congressional candidates is going to be commonplace Real Soon Now, even next year if the Democrats are nimble enough. The Republicans made a bold move and got a huge payoff by nationalizing the 1994 election. Can the Dems pull off something similar? It can't hurt to aim high.

One other thing: Coordinating campaigns like this would be a way of coopting the Dean model while maintaining the value of the party's brand identity. Dean has shown the value of giving national attention to an individual Congressional race, but next year he'll either be too busy or no longer in the spotlight. This is a job for a party, not a person.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 15, 2003 to Election 2004 | TrackBack