The Democratic Party on the national level has a '50 State Strategy' which basically says they are a national party, and they can not win back control of the country unless they act like one and compete in every election from school board on up, in every district, in every state. One moral of the story is that you can not win races you don't run in. The second and more relevant to this post, is that the infrastructure that is built by running in races where Democrats have never fared well benefits the party down the road and across the ticket.
It is interesting that throughout my oh so long journey of blogging about politics in this district that a common misconception and excuse thrown out by Democrats is that the district is too conservative for Democrats to win. Party faithfuls can get excited about running a Democrat in Wyoming, but look at a borough of New York City as unwinnable.
There was a recent post by Tom Wrobleski that I didn't know how to incorporate the context into coverage earlier, that basically goes something like this... Manny Innamorato after losing his bid for Lanza's old city council seat, is continuing to promote the Democrat message and is trying to effect
change in an otherwise hostile area for Democrats.
And Innamorato, an Eltingville resident, said he will continue to fly the Democratic flag on the South Shore no matter what.
"I'm committed to building the party, enrolling voters and delivering good candidates to them," he said.
This is wonderful and long overdue. Should it be more than one man on a mission, we are starting to see small pieces of a future Democratic victory taking shape. Back during Manny's campaign I posted a piece called 'Winning the ground game' discussing the Innamorato/McMahon plan to ramp up support and leave no voter uncontacted through an aggressive canvassing operation. While his opponent quickly gathered ballot signatures and moved on, Manny was taking the Democratic message to the residents, one door at a time and starting a conversation. Clearly his optimism did not garner the results he was looking for, but the ball is rolling.
There are many recent stories of party resurgence that owe a bit of their success to rethinking politics and the importance of involving everyone in governance once again. You can go just north of the city and see the results of John Hall winning some what of an improbable primary, where many had crowned a Republican convert, in many ways due in part to the strength of his volunteer base and the combined voter outreach efforts. In Long Island, Craig Johnson's special election state senate victory is partially due to the ground game and voter outreach that was organized by the Working Families Party on his behalf.
A telling sign will be the two upcoming special elections, in terms of understanding how far the party has come. While many may see the south shore as unwinnable, it is those that see competing there this March as the first step in competing there in November 08 that really have an understanding about how they will win in the long term. For too long the party has started from scratch with every election, instead of competing in races as a way to start an on going ground game operation for all races that follow.
Every new voter that Titone's campaign registers, is a likely voter for the Democratic Congressional nominee. Every door that Innamorato knocks on is someone new being introduced to the party's platform.