David Sirota has an article over at Washington Monthly about the Montana gubernatorial race, which was won by a Democrat on November 2. Basically, Governor-elect Schweitzer used a 3 pronged strategy:
1. He took advantage of public dissatisfaction with 2 decades of 1 party rule;
2. He rallied small businesses, which have been part of the traditional Republican base, but have been the victims of Bush economic policy
3. He figured out how to win over hunters and fishermen.
This is a strategy that can work almost anywhere by plugging in slightly different disaffected groups. For example, here in Texas our schools are crumbling, and many people have voiced their concern and their disappointment with the Bush Administration over it, as well as disappointment with our Republican state legislature.
Small businesses are hurting all over the country. A strategy that appeals to small business owners is not only a winning strategy, but one which helps America. We need more small businesses and fewer corporate giants. Small business owners are aware that the corporate giants are breathing down their necks and they know, too, that this administration doesn’t care about them. It is in thrall to the corporate giants.
There are hunters and fishermen everywhere. However, they are not such a factor in other parts of the country as they are in the mountain west, which has an economy that is largely based on tourism. But there are other issues that can rally moderate Republicans and Democrats alike, as the issue of hunting and fishing did in Montana for Schweitzer.
Quality of life issues are going to be coming to the forefront more and more as our infrastructure crumbles. For example, it becomes increasingly difficult for cities to fight crime when they have to cut back on the number of policemen they have. The issues are there, ready to be picked up. Democrats just have to pick them up and run with them.