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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Netroots Are Teh Suck

Cuellar easily defeats Ciro Rodriguez:

U.S. House - District 28 - Dem Primary - 274 of 276 Precincts Reporting - 99.28%
Name Party Votes Pct
Cuellar, Henry Dem 23,546 52.73
Rodriguez, Ciro Dem 18,217 40.79
Morales, Victor Dem 2,893 6.48

The netkooks had put all of their hopes and dreams into this race, and they still lost by 12 percentage points.

Is it any wonder that so many liberal bloggers hate election day?

I suppose one of the great ironies of my writing for MyDD is that I actually hate election nights. Even though this is what most of our writing builds up to, and even though our traffic goes through the roof, usually I find it too stressful and too disappointing for words. I am already growing pretty nervous about tonight. The netroots, the LCV, and the AFL-CIO have a lot on the line. Not to mention that is just really important that we get Cuellar out of this seat. Tonight is a big night.

Other reactions:

Decision '08: The progressive blogosphere has crapped out again....

Firedoglake: We did that in this race. We sent a very loud, long message to the Democratic party about what we're willing to fight for. It's extremely difficult to defeat an incumbent and we took a race that wasn't even close in January and made it competitive. That's huge. Hamsher doubles down, opening up a contributions page for Ned Lamont (who is challenging Joe Lieberman). Some people will never learn.

Blanton at Red State: Thus far the lefty netroots has aggressively pushed numerous out of touch losers, but has yet to generate a winner. Lefty netroots support continues to be the kiss of death and that support is, unfortunately, eroding the credibility of the netroots in general. It should be noted that the right side of the blogosphere has not been as aggressive in building and backing candidates (though Jim Demint, Tom Coburn, John Thune, and others have seen help), but the right has managed to show itself more in touch with reality.

Right Wing News notes that the Diebold conspiracists have come out of the woodwork over at the Daily Kos.

As I commented over at Decision '08, winning elections requires the discipline to allocate scarce resources to candidates that actually stand a chance of winning. It didn't matter last night, because there was only one race of real interest. But in November there will be 469 +/- races, and the netroots will have to decide where to invest their time and money.

In 2004, the Daily Kos pushed 15 candidates; all 15 of them lost. Over at Kerry Haters, we pushed two candidates, President Bush and John Thune, and both of them won.

The new meme over on the liberal blogs is that they got in too late to make a difference, that it's too hard to unseat an incumbent, that they fought the good fight but were doomed by politics. Of course, that was not the message they were delivering to their readers in the days before the election. Here's a quote from Democracry for America's email to me yesterday:

With your help, our DFA-List candidate Ciro Rodriguez has closed the gap against Democrat-In-Name-Only ("DINO") Henry Cuellar from fifteen points in December to just five points in the most recent poll. Ciro now has a real chance to knock off Cuellar in today's primary - and you helped get the ball rolling.

But the bigger story is that this race shows the power of Democracy for America to change the complexion of a campaign. A few months ago this race was only a blip on the national radar. "Democrat" Henry Cuellar was cruising to re-election because Democratic voters in the TX-28 didn't know that he supported the Republican prescription drug debacle, voted for CAFTA, and has a horrible environmental record. At the end of 2005, Cuellar had raised four times as much as Rodriguez and had a quarter of a million dollar advantage in cash-on-hand.

Then you kicked in.

On February 10, Democracy for America endorsed Ciro Rodriguez and 1,200 DFA members contributed over $45,000. You took a chance on a candidate and a campaign that you may not have ever heard of. Largely thanks to you, Ciro had more cash-on-hand than Cuellar going into these final days of the race. And today DFA members in San Antonio are working with Ciro's campaign to organize one of the biggest Get-Out-The-Vote drives the district has ever seen.

So there are two options here. Either the netkooks were lying yesterday when they said that Ciro Rodriguez had a chance, or they're lying today, when they say that it was hopeless from the outset.
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