Robert Creamer, HuffPost:
The political conventional wisdom has already concluded that Democrats will suffer major losses in November midterm elections. Indeed, if the election were held today, that might be true. There have been very few midterms in modern political history where the party that holds the White House has not lost a lot of seats in the first midterm after its President first took office.
But there are six months and a great deal that Democrats can do to succeed this fall.
Rule #1: Keep our eyes on the prize. Democrats have four goals in the coming midterms that should define our allocation of financial and political resources. In descending order of importance they are:
Maintain control of both houses of Congress.
Assuring our ability to actually pass progressive legislation….our resources should be focused on candidates that support the President’s agenda…
Use the elections to prove that support for a progressive agenda is good politics.
Take beachheads for Democratic power.
Rule #2: Midterm elections are all about turnout.
the next six months we have to be all about inspiring the Democratic base…
turnout is about execution.
Rule #3: We can’t afford to allow the Republicans to make the midterms a referendum on Democratic performance. It must be framed as a choice between the failed Republican policies of the past and the Democratic program to lay a foundation for sustained, widely-shared economic growth.
Rule #4: We have to frame the debate in clear populist terms — about who is on your side…If we don’t focus that anger on the people who really caused this economic disaster, they will blame Democrats, who are in charge of the Government.
Rule #5: The outcome of midterm elections are hugely dependent on the popularity of the President….that means that Members of Congress have an enormous personal political interest in passing his agenda.
Rule #6: In midterm elections, whichever party nationalizes the contest almost always wins.
Rule #7: No flip-flops.
Rule #8: Stay on the offensive. We must go after Republicans for the failed policies of the past that led to the recession.
Rule #9: Keep winning.
Rule #10: It’s the economy, stupid.
A lot of political water will flow under the bridge between now and November 2nd. In large measure the outcome of the midterm elections is in our hands. If Democrats do what we need to do, there is no question that we have the ability to achieve our goals and set the stage for continued progressive success in the two years leading up to the Presidential election in 2012.
Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the recent book: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com.