The Utah Democratic Party shows some (online) life.
Todd Taylor, Executive Director of the Utah Democratic Party, offered up an impressive batch of posts at the UDP website today. I won't assume the posts are in direct response to the criticisms Bob and I have thrown out, but their timing is perfect. I took this bit, particularly, to heart.
Arizona Democratic legislators got killed – despite major spending by the State Party on legislative races – losing three seats in the House and one seat in the Senate.Consider me humbled, Todd, and sincerely.
Idaho Democrats lost some ground – losing just one seat in the State House. But they got a consolation prize: they picked up a new congressman in Walt Minnick – a good trade for them.
Montana’s Democratic legislators had a dramatically mixed outcome. Despite re-electing Gov. Schweitzer with 65% and Senator Max Baucus with 73% and the Obama campaign coming in heavily in the final weeks when they smelled an opportunity, Democrats lost three seats and control of the State Senate. But they did pick up one seat in the House which was just enough to gain control of that chamber.
New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado – where Obama won and played a major role in local campaigns – had reasonably good nights for their legislative candidates. New Mexico picked up three Senate seats and one House seat. Nevada picked up two Senate seats and one House seat. Colorado picked up one Senate seat and two House seats – but their presumptive new Speaker of the House lost his re-election.
It was a "baby steps" year for Democrats in the West, overall. Here in Utah, I agree, we ran into a galvanized Republican base out voting in opposition to Obama. Perhaps, I should have chosen my words more carefully and said instead that several surrounding states appear to have a more aggressive party, perhaps because the state chairman and leadership have better humanized themselves with the online communities. Their prospects seem brighter with a more aggressive message, which is a draw for support from both small, grassroots donors and volunteers (who tend to be of the more youthful crowd, getting their information online). They provide a more clear image of identity. Appearance, message, image and identity. I'm not saying we don't have it, but the message isn't getting out there.
But then I may have to eat all of my words, reading these posts. It appears there is a fight left in the UDP office after all. This is exactly what seems lacking in the image of the party (online), and helps to fill the void of presence (or will, if it becomes a habit) the UDP has so far maintained with the 18-35 year-old crowd. More of this, please!
Check out the rest of Todd's posts on politics in the west, and the 2009 Legislative session.