Diary

DCCC firewall: what a difference a couple of years makes

It seems like just yesterday that the Democrats had a 50-state strategy. Now they are reduced to creating “firewalls” to try to hang on to power by the skin of their teeth.

In the Senate, the strategy is to protect Boxer, Murray, and Feingold. Obama worked over Barbara Boxer’s supporters a few months ago, and then recently visited again as part of three-day swing between vacations to support her, Patty Murray, and Russ Feingold. All three of these should be safe seats in blue states, but it’s clear the Dems think all three are in jeopardy and will determine who rules the Senate. Obama is making a Labor Day trip to Wisconsin as well. They’ll be at the same event, but interestingly enough they won’t be there at the same time. Feingold has criticized Obama many times – mostly for not being “progressive” enough, but also for things like misuse of “czars”.

On the House side, the Dems have decided that they have about 20-25 members they have to go all out for, and the rest will get thrown under the bus. If they lose 25 or 30 or 35 seats they don’t care, as long as Pelosi remains in charge once the dust settles. This also presumably means that SEIU, AFL-CIO, MoveOn, etc. will be throwing their tens of millions of dollars and their ground forces into a relative handful of races.

There was a diary recently discussing the importance of one poll vs another. It’s becoming clear that internal Democratic polling shows that their only hope at keeping power is to pick a few spots to play defense and to abandon the rest of the team. It will be interesting to see how the GOP adapts.