Were you disappointed that Dan Bishop (R) beat Dan McCready (Blue Dog) in North Carolina's 9th district last week? It wasn't through lack of money. McCready raised $4,707,832 to Bishop's $1,946,247. And turnout was OK for a summer special election-- over 188,000 votes, about 100,000 fewer than last November.
Considering that McCready only lost by 4,000, perhaps a little more effort towards exciting the Democratic base might have won him the race. Instead, he pledged he wouldn't vote for the assault weapons sales ban, said he opposed Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal and offered Democratic voters little more than his opposition to Trump, which almost won him the race-- but didn't. As is their SOP, his canned DCCC website didn't include any issues at all since the conservatives who control the DCCC hate Democratic values and assume voters do as well and insisted he leave that blank.
Indiana's fifth district is very similar to NC-09 is some ways. It's a pretty red district with no incumbent next year. It's a mixture of suburban and rural counties. Trump won NC-09 54.4% to 42.8% (11.6 points) and he won IN-05 by 11.8 points-- 53.1% to 41.3%. But there is also a very big difference:
Instead of a Blue Dog with an uninspiring Republican-lite mystery meat platform, the woman running in IN-05, Jennifer Christie, is an all-in progressive with a website that proudly proclaims exactly what she stands for and what she plans to do in DC-- the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, tuition free public colleges, equal pay for equal work, LGBTQ equality, massive rural investment and revitalization, a sales ban on high-capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons and consumer protection (including a 15% cap on credit card interest and tougher anti-trust rules and enforcement).
There isn't really any way of knowing for certain whether or not more Democrats would have turned out in NC-09 if McCready had run on a platform like this. As J.D. Scholten told us a few days ago in regard to his own race in Iowa:
"I'm not running a DCCC-style campaign. If I did, I would lose by 20 points. They want me to sit in a room making fundraising calls all day, and attend high-dollar fundraisers at night. That’s not me, and that’s not my district. In rural Iowa, we’ve been left behind by both parties and out-of-touch politicians who put their own personal agendas and the interests of corporations and special interests before our community."
And he's hoping to motivate voters with a strong progressive platform, very similar to the one Jennifer is running on.
The Democratic Party has largely given up on these districts and states. Right after the Democrats won 3 of Iowa's 4 congressional districts last year-- and nearly won the 4th-- the DNC announced it didn't plan to spend any money in Indiana, Iowa or Ohio in 2020.
The only response I heard was from Bernie who said he planned to win the presidency by winning in Iowa, Ohio and Indiana and that he would be replacing the DNC with an organization in touch with grassroots Democrats, rather than with big money special interests.
Last week, Blue America endorsed Jennifer, a mom of 4 young children, a scientist, an educator and a person of faith. Jennifer lost her mom, a nurse, to cancer. When she got sick, she lost her insurance coverage and before she died nearly lost her home due to medical expenses. Too many Americans know that story first-hand. And Jennifer is talking with them about Medicare-for-All, a very different proposal than what they have been hearing about on Fox and from Republicans and conservative Democrats. On her website, she wrote that "It’s time we simplify the process to allow for single-payer healthcare that guarantees health care for every American without exception. We have already proven that the Medicare system works. Guaranteeing health care as a human right is simply the right thing to do."
What can we expect from her in Congress?
"A leader," she told us, "possesses the universally respected qualities of honesty, integrity, and courage. Perhaps the most important characteristic, however, is kindness. When kindness is coupled with courage and honesty, real change can happen because a person who is both courageous and kind will travel the good path and bring many people with them. I have watched for years as greed and corruption have driven decisions in Washington, and simply cannot sit by and watch any longer. My only motivation is to leave a better country and planet for our children. I am clear about who I serve and our purpose, and my votes are not for sale."
Not for sale-- so not bringing in any special interest money at all. Can you consider helping her finance her grassroots campaign by contributing here.