Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Every Journey Starts Somewhere

The Blog Florida Blue Logo Contest was a rousing success. Thank you all for participating. There will be more about the results of the contest later. But that is not the subject of today's diary.

Today we are going to talk about the work ahead. However, we are going to do that by taking a look at where we are starting from. It's pretty hard to get to where you want to go if you don't know where you are starting from.

So, with that in mind, follow me down the rabbit hole....

Recently, Media Matters and Campaign for America's Future completed a new joint report called, "The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth." meowmissy has a diary up on DKos that has a lot of the information from this report. In describing the report, Justin Cole, Online Outreach Coordinator for Media Matters for America, had this to say:
It's a substantial report that will help drive home the point that America – regardless of how the media portrays it – is a progressive nation that
is getting more progressive, including in Florida

Now to those of us living here that may sound like a startling statement. However, Mr. Cole has supplied us with Florida specific polling to support this seemingly outlandish claim. Consider just these three elements of this polling:

  • “Providing health insurance for people who do not already have it—should the federal government spend more on it, the same as now, less, or no money at all?”
    Percent answering “More”: 71%
  • "Providing financial assistance to public elementary and secondary schools—should the federal government spend more on it, the same as now, less, or no money at all?”
    Percent answering “more”: 71%
  • “The federal government banning all abortions—do you favor or oppose the federal government doing this?”
    Percent opposed: 67%

Do these results surprise you? Are these the results that you would expect in a state where:

  • Only 2 of 7 statewide elected posts are held by Democrats
  • The Congressional Delegation is 16 Republicans and 9 Democrats
  • 42 out of 120 House seats are held by Democrats
  • 14 of 40 Senate seats are held by Democrats

So we seem to have a pretty progressive electorate given the polling results noted above. That ought to put some wind in our sails as we go into the 2008 election cycle. This is particularly true looking back at the notable successes we had in 2006. This gives rise to the question: What do we do with this information?

Here are my suggestions:

  • We try to run as many good candidates as we can against as many vulnerable Republican seats as we can find.

Good candidates are preferably people with prior elected experience, or absent that, a compelling personal story. They also should be able to raise substantial funds and / or a major grassroots effort on their own. Vulnerable Republican seats are open seats, seats held by freshmen, or seats where the incumbent has an approval rating below 50%.

  • We make sure that these good candidates talk about their progressive values.

Remember that polling data? 71% of the electorate is for doing more to provide health care to those in need. That's compassion and a sense of community. We should be talking about that.

71% of the electorate is for doing more for public education. Quality public education is the great equalizer in this country. That's fairness. We should be talking about that.

67% are against the government banning all abortions. That's freedom. We should be talking about that.

The numbers tell us the public is on our side. We should be sure they know that we are on their side.

That is where we should start our journey in our quest to Blog Florida Blue.

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