Let’s face it; the GOP’s Tea Party faction has the momentum to move votes to the ballot box in November. In the primaries of Congressional swing districts Democrats continue to lack the energy and vigor of the 2008 election season. According to a publication from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, Republicans have out performed Democrats in primary participation for the first time since the 1930s.
If the trend continues Democrats will loose a majority in the house and also seats in the senate. So, with so much hanging in the balance, what are Democrats doing to mobilize their base and hold their seat gains from 2006 and 2008?
The campaign message from the President and Democratic leaders is that if America voters elect a Republican majority, we will thrust ourselves back into the politics of yesterday, the politics of George W. The President touts legislative accomplishments that push our nation forward despite our tough times, while the Republican Party’s method has been nothing more than to oppose President Obama’s legislative agenda.
After the 2008 election and the party election of now Democratic National Committee Chairman Governor Tim Kaine, the DNC replaced its 50 State Strategy with Organizing for America. Previous Chairman Gov. Howard Dean instituted the 50 State Strategy to elect Democrats from the school board all the way up to the nation’s top office, the presidency.
President Obama has given credit to the 50 State Strategy by saying it was the “backbone” of his candidacy.
The turnout of young voters, combined with the strength of the African American voting bloc, significantly contributed to the energy in his election. In the fall elections of 2010 Democrats need the combination of these two demographics to hold on to a majority.
Using the 50 State Strategy of 2006, Democrats took back control of the House and flipped Senate seats that were usually Republican, as was the case for Missouri and Montana.
Organizing for America or OFA, as it is called, is a network of organizers and communications staff laying the framework to identify and maintain volunteers and votes for party initiatives. While OFA has been working to turn out votes this election year, the past focus has been mainly on harnessing the energy of the Obama campaign to support the President’s legislative initiatives.
In a recent email to the 13 million email member list of OFA, President Obama lays out the accomplishments of his administration. He asks that the previous Obama voters fight for democratic candidates “as strongly as you fought for me… As strongly as you fought for a democratic majority in 2006.”
To harness the success of the 50 State Strategy of former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, OFA will have to solidify its appeal beyond the beltway during the 2010 midterm season, and mobilize the critical youth and African American voters that helped clinch Obama’s 2008 victory.