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More on Hillary Clinton’s 50-state strategy

Again, I like what I’m hearing so far.

Hillary Clinton had a message to relay in private meetings with state and local Democrats during her highly-choreographed swings through Iowa and New Hampshire this month: let me help you.

The implication? She’ll fix the party infrastructure that withered under President Barack Obama.

The Democratic front-runner has stressed the importance of bolstering — and in the case of Iowa, rebuilding — the state parties from the ground up, as they received scant national attention since 2008. Some Democrats even pin the blame on the president himself.


“What typically happens is when a president comes in, the national [party] committee becomes a presidential re-elect, and that hollows out the local parties,” says former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, who ran for president in 2004. The result, as outlined in the party’s February midterm autopsy report, has been sweeping losses for Democrats at every level during the Obama era, from statehouses to the U.S. House and Senate.

Without blaming the president by name, Clinton’s team is telling early state officials and activists that they feel their pain — and that they’re here to help.

“For the last eight years there were a large number of people who were attracted to be involved in campaigns because of Barack Obama, and that didn’t necessarily translate into those folks being party activists for other candidates, which is what you’ve been seeing in the off-year elections,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Raymond Buckley, who saw Clinton last week. “We really need to be able to build something that is a permanent infrastructure, right from the precinct level.”

The story focuses on Iowa and New Hampshire. which isn’t of much interest to me, but the principle involved is good and important and would be applied to Texas as well, in some form. Lots of questions remain about what that form looks like. How many resources will they put into Texas? What are the goals for the state, in 2016 and beyond? How, if at all, does Battleground Texas fit in, and how does Team Hillary avoid the mistakes they made in dealing with the locals? How do they handle the fiefdoms, factions, and would-be kingmakers our party is full of? For now it’s good to know that they plan to do something, because Lord knows we need it. I’m just very interested in knowing what that something will be. Link via dKos.

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One Comment

  1. otto says:

    A national popular vote could increase down-ballot turnout voters during presidential election years.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the enacting states.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don’t matter to candidates.

    In 2008, voter turnout in the then 15 battleground states averaged seven points higher than in the 35 non-battleground states.

    In 2012, voter turnout was 11% higher in the 9 battleground states than in the remainder of the country.

    If presidential campaigns polled, organized, visited, and appealed to more than the current 20% of Americans, one would reasonably expect that voter turnout would rise in 80% of the country that is currently conceded by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.