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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Florida Progressive Radio Tommorrow

Please tune in for another great Florida Progressive Radio show tomorrow afternoon from 2-3pm. Ken will be interviewing special guest Clint Curtis, Democratic candidate for Congress running against the diabolical Tom Feeney.

Learn more about Clint here.

Voter Registrations, Pt 2

Any discussion about the possibility of moving Florida into the Democratic Presidential column in 2008 has to look at the trend that went from a 537 vote loss in 2000 to an almost 381,000 vote loss in 2004.

So I thought I would look at party registrations for voters who have registered to vote since the 2004 presidential election.

It's a very mixed bag.

Statewide, there isn't a lot of change. Through 3/31/2007, there were 23,349 more Democrats registered than Republicans (563,110 to 539,761). However, during this period, there were 534,794 third party/no party registrations. Given the current political climate, it might not be unreasonable to expect that a Democratic candidate could do extremely well with this group, pull in disenchanted voters who went for Bush in 2004 and hold onto those who voted for Kerry. Can that equal 381,000 votes? Perhaps.

New voter registrations certainly do not favor the Democrats in the Panhandle, SW Florida and the counties surrounding Jacksonville. Southeast FLorida continues to be a Democratic stronghold and new registrations are certainly favorable in the North Central and holding their own in the central part of the state.

For those of you who like maps, here's thedata plotted by county. If you click on the map it will open in a larger format. Enjoy.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Evaluating Local Republican Websites

We've talked about the need for better websites for DECs, and websites for DECs that currently don't have one. Fortunately for us, local Republicans fare just as bad if not worse. Here are some observations:

1.) There are around three particular cookie cutter designs.
a.) The waving banner type (Alachua, Santa Rosa)
b.) The glowing title type (Dixie, Holmes, St. Lucie)
c.) The red top banner type (Gadsden, Jackson, Washington)

2.) Most incorporate the "GOPUSA" News Feed (the liberal media can't be trusted, ya know.)

3.) Other than the cookie cutters - most local GOP sites look like most low-end DEC sites: websites that we're built in 1998. The difference between the two is that there is a lot of common widgets and blocks used by GOP sites (GOPUSA being one of them), while there is little such lock-step uniformity among DEC sites.

In other website news, the state Republican Party has rolled out a new website. Its nothing to write home about, they've just finally caught up with the modern age in terms of podcasting and video.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Voter Registration Trends in Florida

One of the challenges facing the Democratic Party in Florida continues to be a degredating trend in voter registrations outside of urban areas.

One of the difficulties in looking at voter registration by party is that in Florida, particularly in northern and rural parts, older registered Democrats tend to vote more and more like Republicans (the "Dixiecrat" affect as it's often referred to.)

To try and quantify this a little and see what kinds of trends we might be looking at, I compared voter registration numbers, Democrat vs. Republican, by county, by the decade the voter was registered. The map is below. A ratio of 100 indicates an equal number of Democratic and Republican registrations. A ratio of 200 indicates twice as many Democrats as Republicans. (I have not included 3rd party/no party in this analysis, although the number of registrations in this group has continued to increase over the years until today when it is on a par with either party.)

The decline of the Democratic Party in voter registration in northern Florida is readily apparent.

The difficulties faced by the FDP in SW Florida becomes very clear when you see that they have never had a registration advantage in these counties.

About the only place where you see any reversal of these negative trends are in 3 very ubran counties: Broward, Pinellas and Palm Beach.

This is just a rough first pass on these data. I hope to stimulate discussion about what these trends tell us and what opportunities and challenges they present as we try and revitalize the Democratic party throughout the state.


(clicking on the map should open a larger view)

The Value of Service Projects

As many of you know, I spent last weekend working with my fellow Democrats remodeling Marion Dems HQ. It was a lot of work, but it was also very enjoyable. I can't always say that about a lot of the service projects I've been involved with. I was a Boy Scout for virtually all my teenage years, and service projects we're frequent. They weren't all bad, as I liked hanging around my fellow Scouts, but the projects were often tough and sapped the life right out of you. My own Eagle Scout project was no exception: the development of an emergency food center which took several workdays and hundreds of volunteer hours.

The point here is that DECs should try and do service projects when they can, particularly if they have a HQ. These activities build camaraderie, and Democrats therefore get to know each other better. Those partnerships become critical as big projects arise, and Election Day draws nearer.

Of course, all projects have to be planned out in advance, so people don't end up getting burned out instead of turned on to the Democratic Party.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Recurring Donors

Barack Obama is now taking his campaign to put much of his support base on a recurring donor program on the front page of his website. He's using this nifty little graphic:

Whether or not Obama gets the Democratic nomination, I personally believe this will be one of his greatest contributions to the Democratic campaign/organizational playbook. Using recurring donors really pays off and helps build and sustain campaigns.

Interview FDP Chair Karen Thurman

Want to ask the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party a question? Well, now's your chance! Florida Netroots has been granted the opportunity to interview Karen Thurman, so send along your questions to me by Noon tomorrow (I know, short notice) and your question may be used in our interview.

Email Florida Netroots

Some Belated Weekend Links

You can check these out while you're hungrily waiting for the next post :)

Can Change Facebook Organizing?
by Shai Sachs of MyDD

Tips for Being an Amateur Blogger by jonah in nyc of DailyKos

Hat tips to Eddie for the Facebook post and Tally for the Amateur Blogger post!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Edna Walters, GOP Donor, Demonstrates the Circle of Corruption in Hillsborough County

DECS should be familiar with the Candidate Finance reports on file at County Supervisors of Elections. GOP donors don't generally make donations to the person who does them the favor, but another GOP politician who then will direct a crony to accomplish the favor. Often the ties extend to other states and tracking the connections takes time and attention. There's a big BINGO in Hillsborough today as Edna Walters a GOP donor to GOP County Commisioner Higginbotham gets a SeaWall paid for by tax payers.

See more details at TampaBay Democrat.

FPC Radio Episode 2: Progressives Strike Back

Obviously that's not the real title (just a shout out to all the Star Wars fans out there), but I know its going to be a great show.

I unfortunately won't be able to participate as I'm helping paint and reorganize Dem HQ (its looking so much better than before.) Nonetheless, I really encourage all of you to listen in. From my sources, a pretty high profile guest will be calling in - so tune in!

You can listen here.
If you want to call in during the show (strongly encouraged), call (646) 716-7543 (its obviously not toll free.)