Back in January when I first started pushing the candidacy of Democratic unknown Darcy Burner in Washington’s 8th Congressional District, my righty critics ridiculed me — but reading between the lines you could always sense the fear. Over the past decade shifting demographics have transformed WA-08 into a light blue swing district that reliably elects Democrats to nearly every other office. And given the sheer mediocrity of the incumbent, it would have been foolish for even the most stalwart Republican to fail to entertain a little self-doubt.
But the trolls and (u)SP types really had a field day once I started touting Peter Goldmark as a viable candidate in Eastern Washington’s 5th CD, a district that Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris won two years ago by a 20-point margin, and which has twice given President Bush overwhelming margins. The taunts launched my way in posts, comments and email were just dripping with arrogance and over-confidence. As HA readers responded to my fundraising appeals with astonishing generosity, one emailer laughed at me for encouraging my fellow “deluded Seattle liberals” to waste their money on the “nutroots fantasy” of a Goldmark victory.
Yesterday two of the nation’s leading electoral prognosticators, Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato, both upgraded the race in WA-05 from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican,” while the New York Times followed suit today, upgrading their rating from “Safe Republican” to “Leaning Republican.”
Even McMorris has finally recognized the threat. Spokesman-Review reporter Jim Camden inadvertently overheard a candid conversation between McMorris and Idaho Sen. Larry Craig before a Thursday conference call.
“It’s a closer race than I first imagined,” McMorris told Craig before the teleconference was opened to callers.
Instead of being placed on hold and blocked, Camden was placed on mute, so he was able to hear their conversation but unable to tell them he was listening.
Goldmark is “hitting very hard” at her veterans budget votes, and on recent cuts in veterans services, McMorris told Craig. She asked the senator to emphasize the increase in overall veterans funding.
Craig told McMorris that Republicans are hurting across the country.
“The new numbers are just devastating,” he said.
Hmm. Guess I wasn’t so nutty after all.
Ten months ago few “experts” gave Democrats much of a chance in either of these districts, but strong candidates, current events, and innovative, technology-enabled grassroots activism have conspired to put both these races seriously in play. But now both Darcy and Peter desperately need your help to put them over the top. If you haven’t already given, please give now. If you’ve already given, please give more.
And if you’re absolutely tapped out, or have already reached your contribution limit, please email and call your like-minded friends and family nationwide, and personally plead with them to contribute Darcy and Peter. Be sure to include the following link — http://actblue.com/page/horsesass?refcode=OctDrive — or follow my complete instructions on political panhandling in last week’s post.
It takes more than just great candidates to turn this nation around. It takes you.