Monday, June 11, 2012

A good ol' 50-state strategy

2008 Obama campaign manager David Plouffe organized a 50-state campaign strategy in conjunction with then-DNC head Howard Dean. 

A 50-state strategy in now way means that the campaign does not focus on the battleground states.  Basically, it's a more holistic way of doing things.  Very good for the long term future of progressive candidates as compared to more tightly-focused campaigns that concentrate on the swing states alone.

Only working in states were you are likely to win is a defensive strategy and you tend to lose ground in the long run.  You know what they say, the best defense is a good offense.  A 50-state strategy activates the whole national work of Democrats and progressives.

Take, for example, a state like Texas.  Little chance of Pres. Obama winning there, but there are a huge number of Democrats in that state. Just going there to raise money only really activates the bundlers and deep pockets.

In order to activate all the Democrats at the grassroots, you need something more serious and at least some commitment of resources.  Now, if it is done right, the activity generated will more than pay for the investment.

In 2008, for example, here in Sacramento, we opened a big office for the general election.  Now, California was pretty much a sure thing for Obama then, but we were able to really get people in the region moving using this office.  Not only did they campaign locally, but they made calls to battleground states and arranged trips to neighboring swing state, Nevada.

And they did a lot of grassroots fundraising that definitely would have exceeded what would have been done had they not opened an office.

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