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This article starts from a faulty premise, then goes downhill from there. The first hint that the article was built on a faulty premise came when it said “I found that Democrats might be able to win by running a 2010 strategy while getting 2006 numbers in the battleground districts. By that I mean that Democrats could win the House by grabbing swing and light-red districts without reclaiming the conservative, ancestrally Democratic areas that padded their numbers in the not-so-distant past.”

The faulty premise is that Democrats are still taken seriously. The fact is that they aren’t taken seriously anymore. They’ve abandoned construction unions. They’ve essentially told farmers that they aren’t welcome in the Democratic Party. Thomas Perez, the chair of the DNC, announced that pro-life voters weren’t welcome in the Democratic Party.

Let’s remember why 2010 was a great year for Republicans. It was great because Democrats refused to listen to voters who told them they didn’t want universal health care. In 2010, people across America were upset and then some. There’s no sense running a wave election campaign if the passion isn’t there.

Another faulty premise is the thought that Democrats could win as many battleground districts in 2018 as they won in 2006. Anyone that thinks that’s possible is kidding themselves. With Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren pulling the Democratic Party farther to the left each day, there are fewer battleground districts.

I’m not saying that because Republicans are doing a great job. They aren’t. It’s that Democrats are alienating lots of groups that used to form their base. You’d think people would notice that blue collar districts went for President Trump but apparently, they haven’t. The question we should be asking is this: how many districts that President Trump won will Democrats have to flip in 2018? Another important consideration that isn’t getting talked about is simple, too. Why isn’t anyone remembering that there’s a different group of voters that turn out for midterm election than turn out in presidential elections?

But there are some signs that could help election watchers gauge if we’re in 2006 again. Incumbency is a real advantage in congressional elections, so more GOP retirements would be a good sign for Democrats. A continued low job approval rating for Trump, coupled with poor GOP showings in generic ballot polls would also signal trouble for the GOP. Additionally, if races that we don’t currently expect to become competitive start to look that way (i.e. district-by-district polling shows tight races, parties unexpectedly start spending resources there, etc.) that might be a sign that it’s 2006 again.

I’ll save you the trouble of determining whether this election will be like 2006. It won’t be. In 2006, voters were mad as hell about the war. Democrats recruited lots of moderates that year, too. These were good fits for their districts. This year, Democrats are going “full socialist“. Redistricting eliminated lots of swing districts. DCCC recruitment chairman Denny Heck has his work cut out for him.

According to Peter Doocy’s article, Democrats are targeting 80 Republican districts. Doocy wrote “It’s ambitious, to say the least. Right now, national Democratic organizers believe that battlefield encompasses an eye-popping 80 districts across America – even though they’ve lost all four of this year’s special election contests for seats held by Republicans.”

I’m a bit skeptical of those figures. Last year, Nancy Pelosi predicted “they’d take the House back” and “win 30 seats.” I said it then and I’ll repeat it now — that’s a partisan pipe dream. Republicans will grow their majority in 2018. They won’t lose their majority.

Caleb Burns is an election law attorney. He’s quoted as saying “Big data has been harnessed to draw these maps with real precision, on a block-by-block, house-by-house basis. We’ve seen over the last eight years, the number of competitive districts go from about a hundred to about two dozen.” The article then says “this means the list of realistic pickups for Democrats remains short.”

The thing to pay attention to isn’t the number of seats the Democrats target at the start of the campaign. Each year, Democrats start with high hopes and wild predictions. Each cycle, Democrats limp away with their confidence shattered and their credibility in tatters.

Until they moderate their policies and tell the environmentalist wing of the Democratic Party to get real, Democrats will have difficulty winning legislative, House and Senate races. It’s that simple.

This isn’t about redistricting or gerrymandering. It’s about people perceiving Democrats as not being willing to listen to them. President Trump won Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan as much because the people in those states trusted then-Candidate Trump when he told them he’d bring their coal mining and their steel jobs back. That’s a place where the Environmental Left won’t let the Democratic Party go.

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Is it possible that Mark Penn is a voice for Democratic sanity? In this article, it certainly sounds that way.

Penn is right in saying “I am for the Democratic Party to move back to the center. The center is where America is.” The far left isn’t appealing to many Americans. That being said, the far left, where Bill de Blasio, Bernie Sanders and Tom Steyer live, is where the energy is.

Still, the Democratic Party is a long ways away from recapturing the majority in the House or Senate. This past week, the DCCC sent out an email blast asking people to vote on potential bumper sticker slogans. One slogan option that the DCCC asked people to vote on was “Resist & Persist.” Another option was “She persisted, we resisted.” Then there was the slogan “Democrats 2018 — I mean, have you seen the other guys?”

These are actual slogans that the DCCC is considering. Frankly, they sound like a bunch of slogans that grade school students wrote. Last night, Greg Gutfeld had a little fun at the DCCC’s expense:

Democrats deserve to get mocked. At this point, they’re a joke totally reliant on identity politics. Why shouldn’t Democrats be mocked mercilessly? Their leadership is virtually nonexistent. Whatever the Republicans’ faults are, and they definitely exist, Democrats don’t have ideas to rally around. Until that changes, Democrats should expect their losing streak to continue.

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With all of the articles pontificating about the meaning of Karen Handel’s victory in Georgia’s Sixth District, it isn’t surprising that Newt Gingrich’s article provided the most enduring insight. Newt said “Meanwhile, Republicans rose to the challenge. Handel was their champion, and they went all out to win. I have a friend who lives in the district and visited every home in her neighborhood on Election Day to ensure not a single voter failed to turn out.”

While it’s true that this loss has to sting Democrats, it’s important not to overlook the blocking and tackling part of winning elections. Without enthusiastic foot soldiers making calls and knocking on doors, victories are harder to come by.

Footnote: This feels a lot like 2004 in that Democrats were fired up about John Kerry and put together a pretty good GOTV operation. What people didn’t talk about until after the election was that Republicans put together a pretty good GOTV operation, too, and defeated the Democrats’ GOTV operation.

It isn’t that Democrats weren’t fired up for this runoff. It’s that Republicans were pretty fired up, too. This shouldn’t be overlooked:

Throughout the race, the elite media was consistently negative, but Trump’s use of social media ended up reaching a larger audience than the three major networks combined. In Georgia, a similar situation occurred. The longer the race went on, the more vicious the leftwing media became, the more Handel grew, and the more Ossoff shrank.

I’m more than a little skeptical of this article. Here’s why:

In Washington, Representative Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, moved to calm the party overnight, circulating a memo that outlined in detail how Democrats aim to capture a majority in 2018. In the document, which was sent to lawmakers and staff, Mr. Luján wrote that there was “no doubt that Democrats can take back the House next fall” in the midterm elections.

Acknowledging that the Georgia result was a setback, Mr. Luján wrote on Wednesday that there were between six and eight dozen seats held by Republican lawmakers that would be easier for Democrats to capture than Georgia’s Sixth. He said the next few months would become a “recruitment blitz” for Democrats as they enlist candidates in those elections.

“Let’s look outside of the traditional mold to keep recruiting local leaders, veterans, business owners, women, job creators and health professionals,” Mr. Luján wrote. “Let’s take the time to find people who fit their districts, have compelling stories, and work hard to earn support from voters.”

The hard left won’t like that. They aren’t looking for “people who fit their district.” They’re looking for the next Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Footnote: this is a picture of Ben Ray Lujan, the man tasked with restoring Nancy Pelosi to her speakership:

First, I’m skeptical that there are between 75 and 100 seats across the U.S. that are easier for Democrats to win than Georgia’s Sixth. It’s more likely that there’s a maximum of 25 toss-up districts in the entire U.S. This sounds more like Lujan attempting to entice reluctant politicians into being willing to run in 2018. Further, it takes a wave election to have that many competitive districts in an election cycle.

If anything’s painfully obvious about Brian Fallon, it’s that he’s using this transition period to audition for a new job at one of the Democratic Party’s alphabet organizations. (Think of the DNC, the DCCC or the DSCC.) His TV appearances aren’t particularly impressive. The only thing noteworthy about Fallon’s appearances are his flashing his pearly whites and his constant whining about the election. If you think that’s bad news for him, think again. That’s virtually guaranteeing him a job at one of these mean-spirited organizations.

The thing you’ve got to understand is that the DNC and the DCCC peddle negativity for a living. That isn’t just what they do. That’s who they are.

This article highlights that fact. In the second paragraph of the article, S.A. Miller wrote “Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Clinton presidential campaign, has said there’s ‘too much evidence’ that Mr. Trump was in league with Russian spies trying to rig the election.” I haven’t seen any evidence of that. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Has Fallon seen top secret or confidential documents that haven’t been made public? That’s certainly possible, especially considering who his former boss is.

This video is from his appearance on the opening installment of Martha MacCallum’s terrific new show “The First 100 Days”:

Saying that Fallon was filled with criticism is understatement. If you took out all of his whining, that 4:45 video could’ve been reduced to 28 seconds, if that. It’s all whining all the time. Then there’s this:

Mr. Fallon said in a Twitter post Sunday that Americans can’t trust Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s denial that the Trump team was in contact with Russia during the campaign. “Sorry, but we cannot take their word for it on this. There is too much evidence suggesting otherwise,” he tweeted.

Says the chief spokesman for the woman who blamed the assassination of a US ambassador on a Youtube video in public, then told her daughter it was a terrorist attack. Fallon shouldn’t talk about people without credibility. He was employed by a person who didn’t have credibility or integrity.

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Tuesday night, Jason Lewis won his primary against Darlene Miller and John Howe. Saying that this was expected is understatement. Lewis now heads into the general election against the DFL’s Angie Craig. The DCCC is already spinning Lewis as a rigid ideologue from hell.

Whatever.

Craig’s only hope of winning this election is to make the focus on Jason Lewis. The minute that this becomes a fight between Angie Craig’s progressive agenda and Lewis’ ideas for creating jobs and protecting us from terrorists, this race is over.

Nowhere on Ms. Craig’s issue page, which has a heading of “My Priorities”, does it talk about protecting against terrorist attacks, though it mentions “Slowing the Pace of Climate Change.”

When Ms. Craig talks about veterans care, she’s all about describing the problem:

We owe so much to the brave men and women who volunteer to serve our country in the armed forces. When they come home from their service, they deserve access to every benefit and opportunity they’ve earned. However, so often our veterans are faced with long wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and service-related health problems that aren’t fairly compensated.

A 2014 internal audit by the VA found that more than 120,000 veterans waited at least 90 days for healthcare appointments or never received appointments at all. And as of January 2016, over 82,000 veterans were still waiting for the VA to evaluate their claims for service-connected disability compensation more than 125 days after filing.

Nowhere in that word soup is an identifiable solution. I’m not interested in another cookie-cutter politician that can identify problems but can’t identify solutions.

Jason Lewis is into solving problems. He’s also a principled Constitution-first citizen. It’s time to elect Jason Lewis.

According to this article, Rick Nolan is upset with outside groups’ smear campaign against Stewart Mills:

But the ads were also strongly disliked by Nolan, who was frustrated that he didn’t have the authority to pull third-party ads, or even talk about them with the group sponsoring them.

That’s total BS. It’s an outright lie. It’s true that Congressman Nolan can’t coordinate anything with independent expenditure organizations, from ad buys to GOTV operations. There’s nothing illegal if Congressman Nolan had issued a statement criticizing Nancy Pelosi’s PAC for running ads that bordered on slander. It wouldn’t have been smart for him to do that, though, because his ads were exceptionally similar to the ads run by Pelosi’s PAC.

WASHINGTON — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided it would fund a lot of hit ads against 8th District Republican challenger Stewart Mills. So the Washington-based group recorded television ads and sent out mailers that mocked U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s opponent for his shoulder-length hair and his wealth obtained through a successful; and hard-working family business, Mills Fleet Farm.

Now that this election is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to say some things that I didn’t say prior to the election. First, Nolan’s statements about there being too much money in politics is typical DFL boilerplate. It isn’t that there’s too many ads on TV.

It’s that there are too many spineless DFL politicians who won’t criticize their supporters for funding smear campaigns.

If Nolan was a man of integrity, which he isn’t, he could’ve criticized House Majority PAC, the DCCC and AFSCME’s PAC for running a smear campaign. Apparently, Nolan didn’t learn that the First Amendment protects people who criticize political campaign machines.

The ads were viewed by political friends of Mills as ridiculous, offensive and personally nasty. “They’re just so absolutely not grounded in any sense of reality. They’re going after a person’s appearance and also success … and isn’t success the American Dream,” Mills said during an interview during the campaign.

Stewart Mills highlights beautifully that Rick Nolan didn’t stand up for people trying to achieve the American Dream. That’s because Nolan spent the campaign criticizing achievement. Stewart Mills spent his entire campaign showing how the company he runs has done more to help the middle class than the entire Democratic Caucus has done in the last 10 years.

It’s time for Iron Range voters to decide whether they want someone representing them who tells them he supports them until election day, then ignores them the next 22 months. They made a mistake this time. They should’ve voted for Stewart Mills because he would’ve went to Washington to get PolyMet opened.

Now that the election is behind him, Rick Nolan will likely ignore the PolyMet issue for the next 22 months. That’s how Iron Range voters will know whether Nolan supports them or if he’s just committed to paying PolyMet lip service.

Catherine Richert’s article suggests a significant anti-DCCC backlash forming against Rick Nolan:

In the end, life-long Democrat Andy Larson’s decision to vote for Republican Stewart Mills over DFL incumbent Rick Nolan came down to the ads he’s seeing every day on television. “I’m very disappointed in my fellow party members in the types of advertisements just attacking Mr. Mills for his wealth,” Larson said. “It’s completely unwarranted. It’s really turned me off.”

Larson isn’t the only Democrat disgusted with the DCCC’s ads:

Paul Lemenager, a video producer in Duluth, feels the same way about the ads, which are coming from outside groups, not Nolan’s campaign. But he also says Mills’ business experience is attractive.

“The fact that his family owns a business and understands what it takes to develop a business and jobs and to put a business into the black,” Lemenager said. “Nolan has taken on the tone of a career politician. We have so much of that in Washington. We really need someone who understands what it takes to pull out of the slump economically.”

The Obama economy is the weakest economic recovery since the end of World War II. President Obama’s policies have contributed directly to this current stagnation. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between President Obama’s economic plan and Rick Nolan’s voting record. Whatever President Obama wants, Rick Nolan votes for.

The thing that hasn’t gotten talked about, though, is that Stewart Mills isn’t a trust fund baby who’s never worked a day in his life. That’s just the propaganda that the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC have spread since the start of the campaign. Unlike our governor, Stewart Mills has had professional, private sector responsibilities for which he’s been rewarded financially. He’s made things work. He’s grown the Mills Fleet Farm chain. Lots of people are employed through that retail chain.

If it isn’t Stewart’s way to talk about his successes, then I’ll tout them. Stewart Mills is obviously doing things right. Mills Fleet Farm is growing, partially because they self-insure their employees. That means they don’t have to deal with the ACA’s regulations and taxes. Their stores are growing more profitable because they’re the ultimate blue collar retail chain. People in the Eighth District like the Mills chain because it’s got the types of things people use frequently.

It’s hard to characterize Stewart Mills as an out-of-touch rich kid when the retail chain he runs specializes in selling things that middle class families want.

Frankly, I’ve thought that the DCCC’s ads and the ads from Pelosi’s superPAC were way over the top. They aren’t substantive ads, which is what many voters are looking for. These voters aren’t looking for the Democrats’ negativity. They’re looking for solutions and common sense.

If voters elect Stewart Mills, that’s exactly what they’ll get. That’s why the DCCC’s ads are backfiring.

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After last night’s bombshell polling data from Minnesota’s Eighth District, the next questions are quite logical. First, when will the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi’s PAC pull their money from the Mills-Nolan race? Second, when that money is pulled, where will it be spent?

The conventional wisdom is that the money pulled from Nolan’s race would be spent on Collin Peterson’s race. I don’t think that’s what they’ll decide. They’ve already pumped millions of dollars into the Westrom-Peterson race. It hasn’t hurt Westrom a bit. Next, they’ve thrown everything at Torrey, including the proverbial kitchen sink. Torrey Westrom keeps gaining. In fact, Torrey will campaign tomorrow with Mike McFadden:

McFadden knows that his message sells in the Seventh. He’s campaigned with Torrey before, too. It’s obvious that they feed off each other and complement each other nicely. Why would Pelosi’s superPAC or the DCCC shift money into that situation?

Finally and most importantly, a little money pays for tons of ads in the 7th. How much more money does Collin Peterson need to win that race? People know Peterson because he’s finishing his twelfth term. If the first and second ad buys didn’t put Peterson over the top, why would the DCCC think that the third and fourth ad buys will? Known commodities are known commodities. If they don’t sell right away, they won’t jump off the shelf later.

Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC have other seats that need propping up. Nolan’s seat is history. He’s an ancient candidate whose policies are from the 1970s. There’s nothing that indicates he’ll catch fire in the last 2 weeks.

Peterson has a better shot at winning but that’s because he’s frequently won with over 60% of the vote. He’s either popular and heading for victory or people have tired of him and he’s heading for defeat. There isn’t a middle ground with him.

Ken Martin, the DFL, Steve Simon, Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken are watching these races. That’s because they know their races are based, at least partially, on doing well in these districts. If Nolan and Peterson lose, Gov. Dayton’s, Sen. Franken’s and the DFL’s path to victory gets complicated fast.

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The Tarrance Group’s latest polling on the Westrom-Peterson race isn’t good news for Collin Peterson:

The Tarrance Group is pleased to present the following findings from our recently completed telephone survey of N=300 registered “likely” voters in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. The Tarrance Group was commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to conduct a telephone survey in this district. A random sample of this type is likely to yield a margin of error of +5.8% in 95 out of 100 cases. Responses to the survey were gathered October 12-14, 2014.

Torrey Westrom has pulled ahead in the race for the congressional seat long held by DFL incumbent Collin Peterson. Westrom has made steady improvement throughout the campaign and now eclipses the incumbent. Turnout modeling puts the race at 48% Westrom and 46% Peterson, with only 6% undecided. Those undecided voters do not seem likely to break toward an incumbent they know so well.

With a margin of error of 5.8% and with the race being this close, this race is anything but settled. Also, it’s always wise to question private partisan polls. Still, this can’t give the Peterson campaign comfort.

It’s noteworthy that the KSTP-SurveyUSA poll showed Peterson leading 50%-41%, with a distinct oversampling of Democrats:

Sen. Westrom has fought a great campaign. He’s raised the money to be competitive. He’s travelled the district to increase his name recognition. He’s enunciated a message that’s resonating with voters. In short, he’s given Peterson a legitimate reason to worry.

It isn’t accidental that the DCCC has spent a few fists full of money on advertising. That advertising has mostly focused on criticizing Sen. Westrom for his alleged role in the Dayton government shutdown. Prior to this partisan private polling, this already figured to be Peterson’s toughest re-election fight yet.

That fight just gained in intensity. The thing is that the DCCC has already thrown the kitchen sink at Torrey. They don’t have many bullets left in the clip.

Entering this summer, conventional wisdom was that Stewart Mills had a better shot at defeating Rick Nolan than Torrey Westrom had of defeating Collin Peterson. That’s mostly due to the fact that Rick Nolan wasn’t the top-tier candidate that Peterson was. Apparently, Peterson isn’t as popular in the district as his recent election numbers indicated.

Going into this summer, I thought Republicans would win either defeat Peterson or Nolan. I didn’t think they’d defeat both of them. I still have trouble believing that they’ll accomplish that feat but it’s definitely a better possibility today than a month ago.

If Republicans flip both seats, it’ll be bad night for the DFL and for Nancy Pelosi.

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