I promised that if Democrats took the House and Senate, I would not write anything political until the new year. Until the Virginia Senate race is resolved, I can still squeeze in a few last political posts.
The Boyda win certainly, as Diane says, shows that “even in the reddest of red states people have simply had enough of George W. Bush.”
National polls showed that voters were unhappy with the direction the war in Iraq and the war on al Qaeda had taken, and George Bush’s attempts in Kansas and elsewhere to stir people up about terrorism drove voters into Democratic arms. As one Boyda volunteer put it, “their get-out-the-vote is getting our voters to the polls.”
But this election wasn’t just a rejection of Bush’s policies in the war and on taxes.
Nancy Boyda ran a campaign that was almost exactly what Crashing the Gate by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas describe as the campaign of the future. It was built around a grassroots strategy of getting 20 people to each get 20 people to help the campaign out. This 20/20 strategy meant that Boyda and her supporters had to engage the breadth of the district.
She rejected the standard consultants that the DCCC likes to push on campaigns, whether they have a history of winning or not. They advertised on cable, which reaches more people during prime time. Her ads were not your standard attack ads, or soft-focus propaganda. Instead, real people talked about their feelings on street corners, introducing the public to candidate Boyda.
So yes, this election in Kansas and nationwide is a sign that George Bush’s reign of terror is over. For the last two years of his presidency, he will have to come to a Democratic congress for permission to act. But it reflects something far deeper. It reflects the new direction for politics, one that Democrats elsewhere will be adopting soon.
The things that made this campaign different are also the things that kept it off of national radar screens. She didn’t win by contacting the same old people and doing the same old things, so the people who only understand the same old campaigns didn’t see her coming until she released polling that showed her ahead of Ryun. I’m proud to have been a part of this historic race, and to have helped share some of its progress with you all.