Rearranging the deck chairs
I love smart people. And usually the smartest ones are those who can see what is looking you right in the face. Amid all the stories about the CRP convention, CalBuzz has the most interesting insight. Savvy political nuts-and-bolts operators like Jim Brulte can move the dial a few points in a few districts. I can name the handful of operators without whom Democrats would have never achieved their supermajorities in 2014.
But even the most effective operator cannot change global dynamics. And as long as national Republicans continue to saddle state Republicans with policies that scare the hell out of increasingly large share of the California electorate, the CDP is going to be fighting on increasingly hostile ground.
Now that is not cause for Democrats to get lazy. In 2002 I spent a month after the election helping Steve Westly beat Tom "so conservative he even scares fellow Republicans" McClintock by 20,000 votes. In 2008 I spent a lovely month in Stockton helping Alyson Huber win her Assembly contest. In 2010 I spent my November advising Kamala Harris how to get through her ultra-close election. And in 2012 I was the one who confirmed for Steve Fox he had pulled off the stunner of the decade (to date).
So moving the dial a few points in a few districts can have major results. At a minimum, I would much rather spend my November getting ready to eat Turkey than sitting in some local election officials office. How's that for smart?