by Jerome Armstrong, Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 05:43:23 AM EDT
Now we know the answer to that question: Not Virginia.
Though I have to admit that playing a role in the defeat of Terry McAuliffe feels sinisterly good, there's nothing worse than working on a losing campaign, election night. It'd been a while since I had to feel that sting of defeat-- since losing while working for Howard Dean in 03-04. Over the past 3 cycles and about a dozen candidates I've worked for to elect in primaries and GE elections, it was all winning. Last night felt like Iowa in '04 with Dean again.
But the online campaign for Brian Moran had it successes. Yea, we torpedoed McAuliffe, but we also developed a social activist platform at OrganizeVirginia.com that added the activism of personal fundraising pages on ActBlue and online phonebanking, alongside social networking & groups and blogs. OV was a huge success for online mobilization around Moran's campaign. We'll have more progressive candidates using the platform soon enough, along with SEIU. WSG just hired another stellar Rails developer to push the activist platform even further-- yes, eventually, leading here to MyDD.com
As for the Moran campaign strategy, I think we were a bit shocked at how shallow the support for McAuliffe was in depth, and rather than going nuclear on him for a couple of months, both online and throughout the media, a more short-lived and stealth strategy could have sufficed.
The Moran campaign definitely took its eye off of Deeds while taking down McAuliffe. Ultimately, there was a swing group of about 15% that wanted, above all else, to defeat McAuliffe, and when the momentum and polls started breaking for Deeds, those voters strategically swung behind his candidacy without little regard for the issues.
There's a really well-written post that describes the difficulties ahead for Deeds vs McDonnell, from 2005, Attorney Generals Race. I'm sure we'll have time to delve into it more in the coming months.
The campaign of Creigh Deeds was very well run. While Brian Moran's campaign did the grunt work of taking out Terry McAuliffe, they watched and waited. Yes, they got a huge stroke of luck with the Washington Post endorsement, but luck is only half the equation of a win like this to occur. The Deeds campaign took the opportunity and executed a perfect strategy. Congratulations to all those involved in the Deeds campaign.
Now, Creigh Deeds, lead the Democratic Party to victory in Virginia in 2009!