Monday, June 05, 2006

"Hello, my name is Larry Grant and I am not a nutjob. Please vote for me in November."

Jay Stevens at the American Prospect has picked up the news about Larry Grant's opponent in the ID-01 congressional race, and has lukewarm feelings about the chances of a Democratic pickup.
In the end it will take a minor miracle for Larry Grant to win this race. A skillful, well funded campaign capitalizing on Sali's weaknesses combined with a low voter turnout -- where Democrats are more likely to vote -- might just propel Grant to Washington. Barring the confluence of luck and skill, however, it's likely the Republicans will send a state joke to the federal government.
Stevens seems to think that it will be difficult for Grant to fit a clear message of Sali's incompetence into his campaign, but I don't see why. In fact, given Sali's flair for the dramatic, I don't doubt that Sali will be able to help send that message home himself.

Another observation that Stevens makes is also worth highlighting.
Still, it's a victory for Democrats to make the Idaho 1st Congressional District a fight. The GOP, under attack across the country in races it desperately needs to win to hold at least one body of Congress, now finds itself needing to divert resources and funds to an area of the country that it had previously assumed safely Republican.
This is all very well and good at a federal level, but it has some important implications at the Idaho level as well. The Idaho GOP has not fretted too much over courting voters in this state for quite some time, so it stands to reason that their strategizing would begin at the level of fielding the most advantageous candidates to make all of their governmental dreams come true. This year's Republican primary, with its 6 candidates clawing at each other and an ultimate win for the weirdest guy of them all is testament to the fact that the Idaho GOP has not got the party discipline thing down, let alone other vital things that Democrats also lag on, like infrastructure that helps voters get to the polls. (Note that even in this competitive primary, turnout was at a historic low.) The Idaho Democrats have a lot of catching up to do, but it's easier when the GOP gets this lazy.

In the meantime, Grant is thinking outside the box - as is required for any Democrat who wishes to get elected in Idaho. He is actively courting the support of the netroots with a look to Democrats who fancy the 50-state strategy, and Idaho expatriates who know that ID-01 is the little district that can. With his moderate social views and conservative fiscal views, he has a lot to offer Idaho voters and the national Democratic party. Now is the time for Democrats to make their push in Idaho.
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