There has been a lot of talk, some of it quite eloquent, about how this election represents a fundamental political transformation. That all might be true. But I’m old enough to remember the 2010 midterm elections. The mighty, groundbreaking coalition just couldn’t be bothered to show up and vote.
Snark aside (although why would we want to do that?), the key challenge for Democrats is to convince their supporters to show up. Because for me, the most important result (well, second most important result) is that, in battleground states, African-Americans were overrepresented (e.g., in Ohio, 12% of voters are black, while 15% of votes cast were by African-Americans). I’m not sure that’s ever happened in my lifetime on a large scale. Admittedly, when your base is younger (i.e., has to work) and more mobile (less likely to be correctly registered and hard to contact), there might be a built-in disadvantage. But I’ve never understood why Democrats can’t figure out how to mobilize their voters in midterm elections. The Republicans manage to do it.
If the Democrats were smart (I know, humor me), they wouldn’t disband their outreach organization like they did in 2008 (and by “they”, I mean Obama). Keep it going (although maybe cut down on the emails a bit…). That way, in 2014, they will be to reach and mobilize Democrats far more easily.
Like I said, this relies on someone in the Democratic hierarchy with access to cash figuring this out. Not feeling so optimistic about that.