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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/6 (288 comments)

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  •  UT-Dems: shoutout to Gygaxian! (11+ / 0-)

    Not strictly related to a particular election, but I got the UT Democratic party's monthly newsletter yesterday.

    If most of you saw these newsletters you'd cringe, the party is ran by incorrigible optimists who believe that UT is on the verge of going purple due to (select one of the following) influx of hispanics/mormons mass party switching/entire state Republican party getting brought down in corruption scandal.

    Anyways, in that vein they got a sage bit of advice from Nina Turner at a DNC meeting, which I can't help but think they misinterpreted. The newsletter prominently features a quote from her: "If your hair is on fire, act like your hair is on fire!" Admittedly I don't know the exact context it was said, but the newsletter makes is sound an awful lot like that quote was about the state of the UT Dem party. Party Chair Jim Dabakis seems blissfully ignorant of that though, thinking it's about the state of UT or something.

    They also have a very ambitious plan for registering 40,000 voters, which I would be more interested in if they had any history of following through on their ambitious plans.

    (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

    by Setsuna Mudo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:08:26 AM PDT

    •  Utah Dems are in a unique position (5+ / 0-)

      of having something like 75-80 percent of potential voters in the Wasatch Front. I'm trying to find an exact estimate of how big its inhabitable areas are, but that's proving tough. But if you take the four counties that make up the area--Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber, and Box Elder--you'll see that, in total, this  area is 9,338 square miles in land (737, 1,998, 304, 576, 5,723 for each county's land, respectively). That's pretty big--about 10 Rhode Islands, as far as land goes, although some of that land area has mountains.

      More specifically, a good chunk of the population lives between Ogden and Provo, which are about 80 miles apart. In general, even in the densest part of the state, the densest parts of this area are about twice as dense as everything else, as you can see here. This definitely applies to the most Democratic counties in the state, relatively speaking.

      The point I am trying to make is that, while Utah is a fairly large state, it's population is clustered, in the c. Any sort of registering or mobilization of voters, now or in the future, is definitely easier because of this. The voters need to be open to our pitch, but it's not like we're trying to do the same in one of the Dakotas.

      "At this point, if the president came out in favor of breathing, [Republican leaders would] tell their caucus members to hold their breaths."--Jared Bernstein

      by bjssp on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:16:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should also add that these counties are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gygaxian, MichaelNY

        all experiencing pretty solid population growth. It's not all that clear how many of these people are able to be registered and/or mobilized compared to people that have been there for a while, but perhaps it's easier than doing it in other places.

        "At this point, if the president came out in favor of breathing, [Republican leaders would] tell their caucus members to hold their breaths."--Jared Bernstein

        by bjssp on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:50:27 AM PDT

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      •  Good summary, though to be specific (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bjssp, MichaelNY

        It looks like the Utah Dems are going to focus on Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Weber counties, with the opportunities for greatest growth in Weber (Ogden, the "capitol" of the county, has a massively growing Latino population), and Salt Lake. So that cuts down on the area we need to cover considerably.

        One thing we need to work on is GOTV in municipal elections (which is where we get our best legislative candidates and a good deal of future voters). In West Valley, a city of 130,000, the top two candidates for a city council primary was decided by 13 votes.

        Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

        by Gygaxian on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:43:23 PM PDT

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        •  County seat (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gygaxian, jncca, gabjoh

          I think that's the term you're looking for. As far as I know, counties have neither capitals nor capitols, unless they happen to include the state capital.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:58:48 PM PDT

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          •  Yeah, I was going to put that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, gabjoh

            But for some reason I couldn't remember if other states were familiar with that term, even though I now perfectly remember you guys talking about it. Oh well.

            The point is that we did terribly in this years municipal primaries, and so we cut down on our number of potential legislative or eventual statewide candidates. And it's mostly because we didn't GOTV. Also because we had multiple Democrats in a lot of races, but still...

            Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

            by Gygaxian on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:47:00 PM PDT

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    •  Thanks for the shout-out, here's my thoughts (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      propjoe, Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY, gabjoh

      1. Yeah, Dabakis has been a cheerleader for the party for years (he's had a left-leaning radio show since the 90s), and he's an unflappable optimist. However, he's also made a lot of missteps recently (most of which are his fault), so he may get replaced within a couple of years. His optimism is really grating, to be honest. At least it's better than the bitter angry pessimists though.

      2. Yeah, the "Utah will turn purple" crowd are way too optimistic, but the Utah Dems did provide some numbers: There's 307,000 unregistered eligible voters in Utah, 64% of which are supposedly Democratic. According to the Utah Dems, there are 59,362 unregistered likely Democratic voters in Salt Lake County, and specifically 37,824 in Matheson's district.

      2a. According to this snail mail newsletter I got, Weber County would have voted for Obama if we would have gotten out the vote.

      2b. Four Utah house districts were won and lost by fewer than 500 votes (I actually checked the numbers and can confirm this), and eight by fewer than 1,000 votes.

      2c. They said that in all states, voting by mail increases voter participation by 10-12%, and that the early vote in all states (including Utah) leaned Democratic.

      3. I went to the events with Howard Dean, and he seemed confident that Utah Dems could register 40,000 new voters out of the 307,000 unregistered voters. He said he'd bring some of the resources of DfA over to Utah, for what that's worth. I honestly think we'll be able to get the 40,000 by 2014. Excitement over Luz Roble's candidacy may help with that. The Utah Dems don't have any grand history of following through on large projects, but lets be honest; even getting 20,000 votes would help.

      4. More than half the population in the state lives in the Wasatch Front, so at least they'll be easy to contact.

      5. Don't underestimate the corruption scandals; at least in the case of the state AG, there's a very good chance he'll either go down in flames late enough that our enormously popular SLCO District Attorney Sim Gill could have a good chance at taking the AG's office. State Attorney General was the last statewide office Democrats held in any case.

      6. Regarding UT-02, it won't be hard to do worse than poor Jay Seegmiller did in 2012, as he only got 33% and only raised $33,000. From what I hear from Democratic activists, he only barely tried. So if Luz Robles tries at all (and she's intending to raise 1 million dollars), then she'll get a much better result. People already know and like her in Salt Lake City, where most of the population in the district is and where she's held her state senate district. My gut feeling is that she'll at least hit low 40s, especially since Chris Stewart is not well liked.

      7. A final comment on Jim Dabakis; he's an odd duck, because he's part of the particular part of Salt Lake City which cares only for LGBT issues and essentially goes "screw the rest of the state", but he's desperately trying to appeal to Mormon voters, while at the same time being state senator of that particular area. I don't think he has the right know-how to permanently bring over many Mormon Dems, but he could probably pull it off temporarily.

      8. Utah's opposing party chairpersons are a black guy on the GOP and a gay man on the Democratic side. Neither of which are Mormon. Now who has the least diverse state?!? Haha.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:31:09 PM PDT

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