I’d be interested in your evaluation of the 2012 races in Central Florida, specifically in traditionally red Polk County and the surrounding seats that overlap it.
[…] “The Phat Man” West was joined by Scott Gaillard, radio host of Talk Back Jacksonville. They spoke about the NFL draft, the NBA playoffs, and […]
(3/2/2017) I highly recommend this article from Harper’s Magazine: Texas is the Future: Can Democrats reconquer the Lone Star State? Perhaps you can comment on it.
The url: http://harpers.org/archive/2017/03/texas-is-the-future/
The article discusses TOP: the Texas Organization Project. TOP is a grass roots civics participation project that claims (and there is proof for the claim) to have increased voter turnout in Harris County (location of Houston, TX).
Among the points from the article:
• There is a huge group of voters who are disaffected and don’t vote. Many are minorities.
• These disaffected voters – whom Democrats presume to be the base – have lost interest in elections because it seems that their votes never lead to change.
• TOP engages voters with a laser focus on local issues.
• TOP has had some success in changing local policy and causing noticeable change, if not overwhelming change.
• These wins at the local level are motivating people to vote.
From the article:
“Unlike the rest of the country (on election day in 2016), Houston Democrats had a full-scale Republican rout to celebrate. The party had swept the polls in Harris County, the vast region encompassing Houston, arguably the nation’s most diverse city (as locals never tire of repeating). With 4.5 million inhabitants, the county is more populous than half the states in America. Now Harris voters had elected a Democratic district attorney — a very powerful post in Texas law enforcement — for the first time in thirty-six years. The Democrats had also captured almost every other slot on the ballot, including the tax assessor’s office, which oversees voter registration: a crucial win in an age of Republican voter suppression.
“Furthermore, these local victories carried over to the top of the ticket. Though it probably did little to lighten the mood in the Javits Center, Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump by more than 160,000 votes in a county that Barack Obama had carried by fewer than a thousand in 2012. While others in the defeated party were subsiding into melancholy, hand-wringing, and consolatory tales of Russian hackers, the county’s newly elected sheriff, former Houston police sergeant Ed Gonzalez, was assuring supporters that he would defy any orders to round up undocumented immigrants. Across the street, the new D.A., Kim Ogg, promised her exuberant audience a progressive agenda: “We’re going to have a system that doesn’t oppress the poor.”
> It is interesting to note that TOP is a progressive political organization, and not branded as a Democratic organization. TOP is issue-focused, not partisan focused. This is not identity politics. This is an organizing movement that seeks to address issues first, and use that as a way to spur activism, political participation, and the use of the vote among those who have given up on the system.
> PS: I don’t know if Texas is “the future.” It will take a lot to turn that state blue, or even purple. But positive change at the local level is a good thing. And let’s say it eventually means one or two more extra Dem legislative victories, or even one more seat in the US House for Dems. If that happens all over the country, it adds up.
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