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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy Working

From the DNC:

FROM: Tom McMahon, Executive Director, DNC
RE: 50-State Strategy Results

Per Governor Dean's request, I have put together a few facts and figures for you on the successes of the 50-state strategy. I have made one last-minute addition to this memo -- at the end you will find excerpts from a USA Today profile of our 50-state strategy in action in my home state of Nebraska. It ran on Wednesday as we were preparing this message for you.

Critics say that our 50-state strategy focuses on the long-term at the expense of winning this year. As you will see, that simply is not true. Here are a few important results that our 50-state strategy has produced already:

MISSISSIPPI: Republican Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Democrats representing competitive districts in the state legislature to various boards and commissions, triggering four special elections at a time when he believed that his personal popularity would translate into new Republican legislators. Just a few months prior, the 50-state strategy had taken the number of Democratic Party staff in Mississippi from one full-time person to five. By organizing on the ground the way Democrats in Mississippi haven't had the resources to do in a generation, we swept all four special elections. Now Gov. Barbour has four more Democrats holding appointments in his administration and the same number of Democrats sitting in the legislature.

OHIO: The 50-state strategy means new staff in Ohio who have been reviving the field organizing efforts across the state. In a place where it had been typical to build and tear down an entire campaign infrastructure every election cycle, new staff are creating permanent organizing teams in every single county. These teams will be responsible for various functions during the course of the very competitive campaigns there in 2006 -- and won't disappear after Election Day.

SOUTH DAKOTA: With the added boost from new staff and resources, Democrats fielded a record number of legislative candidates this year, recruiting challengers in nearly 40% more races than in 2002.

INDIANA: With fresh resources and energy, Indiana Democrats have been making waves. The Indianapolis Star reported recently that, "Gov. Mitch Daniels and other state Republicans have taken a beating in recent months from the Indiana Democratic Party" thanks to the 50-state strategy, which provided the opportunity to hire a full-time spokesperson. Indiana is also the first state in the country to hold elections under new laws that requires voters to use photo identification that includes an expiration date. Predictably, rightful voters have been disenfranchised by this law. New staff and resources have helped collect data from the May 2nd primary election that will be needed to appeal to the federal court.

OKLAHOMA: The 50-state strategy has been credited with re-energizing grassroots throughout the state. In April, the new staff paid off when the Democratic candidate scored an upset victory, unseating a Republican incumbent as mayor of Tulsa.

NEW YORK: In rural upstate New York, which Republicans rely on for their base voters, unprecedented ground organizing is showing that the 50-state strategy means leaving no county behind. Already, new staff on the ground have identified 12,000 new Democratic voters -- voters who we will get to the polls this November and in elections to come, helping Democrats up and down the ballot.

UTAH: Already, 2006 marks the best candidate recruitment for the Utah Democratic Party in over 15 years. Democrats have recruited candidates for every single State Senate race, and Democrats have challengers running in ten State House races that went unopposed in 2004. The recruitment efforts, led by new staff deployed as part of the 50-state strategy, include not only life-long Democrats but also six Republicans who have switched parties.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Regional field organizers deployed as part of our 50-state strategy have already racked up important wins. They have already worked hands-on to elect three new Democratic members to the State House -- in seats that had been held by Republicans since 1912.

These are just a few of the amazing things happening across the country as a result of a 50-state strategy. Remember, we cannot win in every state until we organize and mobilize Democrats in every state.

As Governor Dean says, we can wait around for the pendulum to swing back in some of these states -- or we can get out there and give it a push.

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