What Democrats don’t get about 2014
Last week’s reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will take out a $10 million loan to fuel a major closing push for the midterms indicate a smart move. It’s much better to finish the campaign in debt, knowing you gave your team’s players all the assistance they could use, than it is to finish with zero debt, but look at a narrow playing field on Election Day and wonder what might have been. But on Wednesday morning, November 5, Democrats might still be treated to a time of excruciating second-guessing. If they hold the Upper Chamber, the dominating emotion will be relief. A loss of five seats will be something to crow about, and Team Blue will celebrate. But this outcome will only be perceived as a victory thanks to the low expectations Democrats have going forward. With only two or three chances to play offense on the map, Democrats are playing not to lose. But did it have to be this way? What if national Democrats treated every Senate race, even those that are seen as safely in the GOP column, as a race they had a duty to make a play for and compete seriously in? It might sound naïve at first blush—we can’t go spending precious money in Idaho, insiders would say, when there are tossup races on the map. That’s logical and valid. But there’s a difference between pouring money into a lost cause and going through the basic motions of propping up every 2014 Democratic candidate. It’s clear that, with finite resources and several races that are obviously at a tipping point, the DSCC can’t throw away money at hopeless candidates. But why can’t it, at the very least, endorse every scandal-free and competent Democrat on the ballot. Why is it that Joyce Dickerson, the only black woman to be running for Senate this year, has been ignored by national Democrats even as the party’s strategists acknowledge that Democratic hopes this year hinge on heavy black turnout? Wills Dahl, Baltimore Post-Examiner, 9-21-14.