New York City
Bob Moser’s lead article “Purple America” [Aug. 13/20], about reaching Democrats in red states, is marvelous! I’ve been preaching this for years. We really can win in 2008!
The Democrats’ fifty-state strategy may be good for party-building and grassroots organizing, but it makes no sense to throw resources at states whose electoral votes are out of reach in 2008. “Purple America” exists only in fifteen to eighteen “swing” states. Bob Moser’s home state, North Carolina, is firmly in the Republican column. Despite having a North Carolinian on the ticket in 2004, the Kerry/Edwards campaign barely improved its vote over Gore/Lieberman in 2000. The only way Democrats can carry “red” states in 2008 is if they are carrying the country by a landslide. And that’s not in anyone’s forecast. The best hope for a “purple America” is the National Popular Vote plan, which would make every vote equal in presidential elections.
Port Sanilac, Mich.
Bob Moser is right on the mark, as I can attest from personal experience. I was 2004 campaign manager for a candidate to the state legislature in a district that had never elected a Democrat. With a “grassroots blueprint” in the hands of 200 inspired volunteers, we beat on doors, handed out materials, marched in parades and put activists in most of our forty-eight precincts. The “experts” in Lansing said the numbers were against us, the Bushies would smother us, but as a token they would give us Palm Pilots (which never came). For less than half of what the opponent spent, our guy got 55 percent of the vote, and Bush got 55 percent. And our guy, of Hispanic heritage, won in a district that’s 99 percent non-Hispanic. Just to show it was no fluke, in 2006 he won with 71 percent, and in the adjoining district (also never represented by a Democrat) the same blueprint was put into play and a Democrat won. Now Democrats control the Michigan House.
Thanks, Bob Moser, for an excellent article about the accomplishments of the fifty-state strategy. It perfectly accords with my experience here in Berks County, a swing county composed of farms, the diverse city of Reading and suburbs of Philly. I became a precinct leader a year ago, after years of outside-the-party activism. A fellow Deaniac recruited me. For the first time in twenty years our little Republican precinct now has Democratic precinct leaders. Last summer, a dynamic new DNC organizer (a community-based hire) organized precinct leaders into regions by district. In the 2006 election, we chalked up victories in three out of four offices on the ballot, including winning our seat in the State Assembly, which had been Republican for twenty years. Statewide, Democrats won a new, one-seat majority in the Assembly.