Tuesday is election day. Everybody will go to the polls and cast their ballot. If the current projections hold, the Democrats will have at least 1 chamber and we will greatly shrink the Republican majority in the Senate. For the remainder of the week, the Republicans will perform various acts of contrition and mea culpa, hoping it will be over.
Unfortunately for the Republicans, it is really just beginning.
To explain that statement, let me provide a bit of personal political history. I spent the years 2001-2004 in law school and studying for the bar. For those of you who have been through this experience, you understand the cocoon-like nature of law school. I would love to tell you I spent those years politically active and aware. The reality is I spent the vast majority of my time in the library or at home buried in various law books. Basically, I let the world pass me by for those years.
When I emerged at the end of the summer of 2004, the Presidential campaign was in full force. I had a lot of catch-up to do. I found some blogs and started participating online in various forums.
Then came Kerry's defeat. For a few days I was crushed. However, after a few days I realized how stupid the 2004 campaign was. Strategically, it was a joke. We had conceded far too many states at the beginning of the campaign, instead focusing on a few "swing states" (or whatever the terminology was), hoping to turn them. Unfortunately this was a disastrous policy which probably cost us the election.
Then came the election of Dean as Chairman of the DNC. A new day dawned. All 50 states would now be in play. And we would work to rebuild a party that had horribly atrophied. Entire state organizations had been neglected for years. As a result we had a ton of work to do. Speaking for Texas (where I live), we still have a ton of work to do.
Then came Bowers call for as many candidates as possible. Professional politicos thought he was a fool. We have seen Kos repeatedly slamming Stu Rothenberg for saying so. We got the candidates. And we started running. Through the internet we started asking for donations. And we raised a ton of money in small denominations.
This is when I decided to contribute to the party by writing about economics. And by the looks of it, I am not the only person who made a commitment. In fact, by looking at the popularity of the left-side of the blogshpere, it's really obvious that literally millions of people have started to contribute in their own way. There are tons of people who have found their niche helping out to further our electoral gains.
The end result is simple. According to Pollster.com, there are currently 27 districts that are toss-ups. Yes the Republicans have helped us a great deal by being incompetent.
However, don't sell yourselves short because of the Republicans terrible governing record. In two years, we have made great headway to rebuilding the party from the ground up. We have fielded a ton of candidates, forcing the Republicans to allocate their resources over far more races than before. This has greatly diluted their electoral prognosis. We have built and started to use an effective online community for everything from fundraising to message coordination. In short we have started to fight back.
This is the first election where the 50-state strategy and netroots activism have really started to come together. There have been some ups and downs, but the results are incredible. We have put a ton of seats into play. We have raised the money and allocated it. We have come up with the message and spread it. We have worked our fingers to the bone to get the job done. And we have.
This is our first real coordinated effort. And it is really good. Imagine what will happen in 2008 after two more years of coalition building, of message building, and infrastructure building.
In other words, this election is the beginning. There will be more and better things to come.
Now, stop reading this damn blog and get back to work.