Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Jersey Republicans in for a Bleak November

Fall seems like it's a world away in these sweltering August summer days, but the November elections will be here in just a few months, and New Jersey Democrats have the opportunity to deal a crippling blow to the Republican Party and its statewide infrastructure (if it can be argued that they have one). Though I know South Jersey senate races better than North and Central ones, there are really only two competitive senate races in currently-held Democratic seats, and this is Sen. Ellen Karcher vs. media hound Ass. Jennifer Beck, and Sen. Joe Coniglio vs. Rob Coletti. Otherwise, in South Jersey alone, Democrats have a real opportunity to pick up 4 state senate seats via Diane Allen's seat (Rich Dennison is an incredibly strong and capable challenger in district 7), Sonny McCullough losing to Jim Whelan, Nick Asselta losing to rising Dem star Jeff Van Drew, and unorthodox Dem Fran Bodine defeating Phil Haines.

If the Democrats pick up those seats, they would then have a 26-14 state senate advantage over the Republicans, who are arguably the most inept state party I've ever encountered. The Assembly is a little trickier, since Dems already have a massive 50-30 advantage, but gains can be made there as well; and that doesn't even include freeholder raises in Burlington County, Cumberland County, and elsewhere.

The NJ Republicans, who recently held a fundraiser "honoring" that abyssmal failure-in-chief, Pres. Bush, stand to lose further races this November and become even more obsolete and irrelevant as a statewide party. I for one am glad for this.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy Paying Off

A new article from The Nation illustrates just how successful Democratic Chairman Howard Dean has been in putting forth his previously-criticized 50-State Strategy Plan for putting activists and ward leaders on the ground in every part of the country. Dean's plan for attacking Republicans in traditionally-red parts of the country is already paying dividends in my native South, as the article indicates how Western N.C. Democrats have galvanized in part because of Dean's strategy.

Of course, not one district, precinct or council should go uncontested, since the Republican Party has dragged this country down the wrong path, both domestically and internationally. The epic failure of the Bush administration has resulted in uprecedented opportunities for Democrats to take state legislatures, run and win Republican-held House seats, and make general incursions into previously "hostile" territory. The Democrats in the N.C. county cited in the article, for example, are organizing like never before -- now that their are field organizers in every state because of Dean's plan --, and the N.C. Dems are now trying to unseat conservative congresswoman Virginia Foxx. The author, Bob Moser, writes, "In "purple" states like North Carolina, where Democrats dominate most local and statewide elections, it's helping to turn red counties purple and purple counties blue, uncorking a new strain of progressive populism--the kind that won Senate races in Virginia for Jim Webb, Montana for Jon Tester and Ohio for Sherrod Brown."

Dean's model also provides a strategy for N.J. Democrats to unseat the remaining Republican seats, particularly the Republican-leaning parts of District 7 where Republican Mike Ferguson is enjoying his last tenure as a congressman to Ocean County, where Dems need to convince voters they stand for them and their best interests economically.