NCDP @ Crossroads

If yesterday's US Senate race had been in North Carolina instead of Georgia, today would NOT be filled with celebration. We'd be crying in our beer instead, wondering how a decent Democrat could be stomped by another lunatic Republican.

There's been a lot of discussion about what's not working in North Carolina, and the broad points are pretty clear:

1. The NC Democratic Party could benefit from new leadership.
2. The Party needs new messaging.
3. The Party recruiting performance is inadequate.

Some of these thoughts were captured at Democratic Underground by our friend PersonDem:

For this election cycle the North Carolina Democratic Party apparently did little to recruit candidates for the state legislature. A quick count showed that republicans won 14 seats in the state senate and 29 seats in the state house UNOPPOSED. As a comparison I checked 2020 to see if this was "normal". It is most definitely NOT normal. In 2020 democrats fielded candidates in all senate districts and all but 2 house districts. The state party's prime responsibilities are to (#1) recruit candidates and then (#2) support those candidates. As a result the GOP in NC now is one House vote away from having veto proof majorities for the next 2 years.

I saw something similar happen in 2009-2010. In 2009 the NCDP elected a vapid non-entity as state chair. In 2010 rich old white guy bought republicans majorities in the legislature; they gerrymandered the state all to hell, and we have been fighting uphill ever since. Leadership failed then and NCDP leadership failed in 2022. As the saying goes "elections have consequences", especially elections where one party is asleep at the wheel.

New, energetic leadership is definitely called for. The next set of NCDP chairs will be elected in 2023; they will be the party's leaders in 2024, and we cannot afford another election with such lackadaisical, laissez-faire "leadership". Giving away 25% of the legislature is unacceptable.

How would you rate your state party's performance in 2022?

Under current party leadership, Democrats have lost ground in every way possible. Continuing the path we're on is going kill fundraising, depress recruiting, and demoralize grass roots activists in our state.

If the NCDP were a business, its Board of Directors would have already brought in a new management team to turn things around. The party should do exactly that.



Insiders vs. grass roots activists?

I wish I had a better sense of the party power structure, but I'm not plugged in. All I can do is watch from the sidelines and hope for a new direction.

Maybe Governor Cooper will step in to push the party forward, but he's got his hands full playing whack-a-mole with the Party of Hate. Josh Stein could also lead, but he's got his own fish to fry.

Beyond those two, the leadership picture seems dark. People seem afraid to speak up, no one seems willing to say "the emperor has no clothes."


Thomas Mills and lessons learned

Our friend Thomas Mills sees some potential silver linings in the Georgia and NC results, but they depend completely on learning lessons we seem unable to grasp. For example, he says we need to drive turnout, which of course is true. But it's impossible to do that effectively without a powerful message and powerful messengers.

Maybe a charismatic and passionate leader will emerge to pull things into alignment. That seems like a long-shot to me.

I'd rather have messaging discipline and an all-hands-on-deck recruiting push.

I know I keep harping on this,

but those unopposed seats are more than just freebies for Republicans, they also represent lost opportunities to get out the Dem vote. Especially in a mid-term election, you have to give people reasons to vote. Not "a" reason, multiple reasons. A Democrat in every race, from the top of the ballot down to Soil & Water. Each of those campaigns reaching out, with a sustained GOTV effort, is the best way to boost turnout.

That goes for all districts, not just the solid blue ones. We lost the U.S. Senate race not because of money, but because of lost opportunities.


Seems like something is badly broken.

A 100 County Strategy

We need a state version of Howard Dean's "50 State Strategy" that worked with Obama. Nationally, we're still seeing the seeds planted during that effort with stronger showings by Democratic candidates in areas that were previously GOP strongholds.

This has to be a long-term effort - not just some big splashy thing for one election cycle. Short-term thinking is the major flaw in the current culture of the NCDP leadership.

Part of the challenge

Part of the challenge is the nature of the leadership job, I know I couldn't do it, not for a minute. It's gotta be frustrating as hell ... all the sniping from armchair quarterbacks like me. I don't envy anyone doing this work.

Not until 2024, I think...

We have Precinct/County/State meetings every year, but only elect officers every two years. Unless there's a vacancy? I was Precinct Vice Chair for 6 years or so, but had to beg off this year. Not enough free time to do what should be done, and going to work too early in the dang morning (get up at 4) for the late-night texts and phone calls.