Thank You and Happy New Year! December 30, 2014 Vol. VII, No. 30 12:13 pm Thank you so much for reading my report this year! There is no greater reward for a political writer than to be read by a balance of influential readers from all persuasions. My goal has always been to
Thank You and Happy New Year!
December 30, 2014 Vol. VII, No. 30 12:13 pm
Thank you so much for reading my report this year! There is no greater reward for a political writer than to be read by a balance of influential readers from all persuasions.
My goal has always been to provide a reliable analysis of political trends along with accurate forecasts of likely winners. In order to achieve that goal, I cannot be an advocate. If I were an advocate, my forecasts would be wrong half the time.
There are many sources of politically biased reporting, especially among advocacy news organizations. I urge you to read or listen to all of them. Biased perspectives on the status of campaigns are very helpful in sizing up competing arguments on who is likely to prevail in a race.
But if you do not have time to read or listen to all competing sources of political insight, please know that that is what I do every day throughout the year.
As you know from following my reports in 2014, since January I have argued that mid-term election year dynamics (referendum on the White House; Democratic turnout down), coupled with structural advantages for Republicans (like the fact that Democrats were defending more U.S. Senate seats, 6 in states that Romney carried by 14 points!) pointed to a likely upset win by North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis over North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan.
There are three other reasons I saw the upset coming:
- Republicans knew that they were their own worst enemy in 2012 and were determined from early 2013 on to correct those mistakes;
- US. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 eliminated the fundraising advantage incumbent Kay Hagan should have had by allowing pro-Tillis outside groups to come into North Carolina with unlimited funding;
- Hagan and her camp of advisors underestimated Tillis and his camp of advisors.
Who Will Lead North Carolina Democrats to Political Recovery?
I suspect that after major losses by North Carolina Democrats in 2010 (state Senate and House), 2012 (Governor) and 2014 (everything else), they will not be making the same mistakes again. Certainly after three devastating elections in a row they see the value of a self-assessment similar to what the GOP did to correct their weaknesses after squandering political opportunities.
In 2016, many important structural advantages will shift to the Democrats. They will have half as many U.S. Senate seats to defend as Republicans; no seats in states carried by Romney. Plus, the Democratic constituencies who were slack in 2014 will likely be going back to the polls in much higher numbers during the presidential election year.
Of course, taking advantage of opportunities comes down to leadership and execution. There is a leadership vacuum in the North Carolina Democratic Party. That vacuum must be filled by someone who can raise a substantial amount of money, lead a self-assessment, and rally the faithful behind a well-crafted plan with the singular goal of political recovery.
Who will lead North Carolina Democrats to political recovery?
Throughout 2015 and 2016, I will be reporting to you what I see as the major influences on our state’s politics. We will be a battleground state in both the presidential and the U.S. Senate race, which means we will attract the kind of attention and money we saw in 2014.
In addition to President in 2016, we will have elections for Governor, Council of State, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, all members of the U.S. House, and all members of the General Assembly.
As always, I will be in the thick of it; reporting to you what I see.
My goal, as always, will be to provide you with a reliable analysis of political trends along with accurate forecasts of likely winners.
Thanks again for reading my report.
May you have the happiest and most prosperous year ever!
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