Another factor that determined the failure in the 2002 elections, is that the Democratic candidates' campaign was not as aggressive as it should have been. The Democrats' opponents used attack campaigns, so the Democratic candidates should have responded "preferably with a plan that turns his attack campaign into a character issue on him."
Other than this, Shawni Littlehale of the free-market Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research estimates that: "the majority of the electorate wants a fiscally conservative governor to push for lower taxes and cuts in our bloated state government, while they want their [state] rep/state senator to bring home perks for their cities ad towns."
The Democrats' success in the 2006 elections was determined by a very strong electoral campaign, the 50-State Strategy. From the beginning, the Democrats were determined to win and geared up in every precinct in the country in an unprecedented 50-state organizing strategy. Governor Howard Dean said: "election by election, state by state, precinct by precinct, door by door, vote by vote...we're going to lift our Party up and take this country back for the people who built it."
In the Democrats' view, the 50-State Strategy represents "a commitment to building a sense of community everywhere and leveraging the power of that community to achieve permanent change." This change will start in the elections for every level of office from city council to U.S. Senate, the Democrats say. The Democrats have also come to the conclusion that politics need long-range strategic planning. It seems that this outlook that Democrats have shown was a success, since they put "everything on the line with our new strategy, and we're already seeing the benefits across the country - in unexpected places from Wyoming to Missouri, races that weren't supposed to be competitive have become within reach thanks to our party-building work together."
The Democrats also changed the way they finance their party: they put up a stable financial plan to sustain the 50-state strategy. Those funds are being raised through the Democracy Bonds people buy.
The Democratic strategy's ultimate goal was: "an active, effective group of Democrats organized in every single precinct in the nation."
The Democrats' strategy had such a successful turnout due to several factors: they hired organizers chosen by the state parties in every state (experienced local activists who know their communities), they brought those organizers together for meeting where they could share each others knowledge and experience in order to win the elections, after the organizers returned to their states they started recruiting and training leaders at the local level, those local leaders recruited other leaders and volunteers until every precinct in the area had a trained, effective organization of Democrates determined to win the elections.
In less than a year, the DNC has hired and trained over 176 field organizers, communication directors and researchers and placed them in state parties in order to form election teams, launch coordinated campaigns, and to spread the Democrats' message. DNC was also in charge of putting up political organizer trainings for 40 state party teams and sponsored in-state trainings around the country for Democratic leaders. This activities helped the state parties to begin early voter ID and voter persuasion, recruit volunteers, and run neighbor-to-neighbor canvasses, phone banks and get-out-of-the-vote efforts.
The Democrats consider that they won the 2006 elections and that they will also undoubtedly win future elections because they "put feet on the street early - an unprecedented move that has made marginal races competitive, drilled the Democratic message down to the grassroots, and built a ground team unmatched in the history of the Democratic Party."
In their electoral campaign, unlike the Republicans, the Democrats took into consideration the fact that the voters will support the candidate they have a strong and reliable connection with. Therefore, beyond televised debates and electoral ads, the Massachusetts candidates "are taking their campaigns back to the basics and are reviving the door to door operation to reach out and touch voters." One of the Democratic campaign managers said: "it was the basis of the candidacy from the beginning. A grass-roots model is the only one which has worked for Democrats in the last 20 years."
Even more, since the grass-roots strategy was such an electoral success, 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election winner Deval Patrick is determined to carry on this strategy also after the elections: "fresh off his resounding victory, Governor-elect Deval L. Patrick plans to keep active his much-touted campaign field organization, a decision that will give him considerable political muscle when he governs from Beacon Hill and could empower him in Democratic presidential politics."
It has been said that Patrick Campaign manager, John Walsh, has been given the task to transform the grass-root network into a permanent statewide political organization, whose objectives will be providing support for Patrick's agenda at the State House, raising funds, providing political ground support for Patrick, mobilizing around issues that Patrick and his supporters are interested in.
Doug Rubin, the chief strategist of Patrick's campaign, is also in favor of this idea, as "the grass-roots organization could be used to build support for Deval's agenda" and "any governor has the bully pulpit to persuade voters that their agenda is worth supporting. This organization can help build popular support."
John Walsh, who is responsible for Deval Patrick's victory, stated that this organization's shape and role is not yet completely established, but Internet-driven communications will be used in order to help Patrick's supporters engage in political and civic affairs. Walsh believes that "the power of this comes from the activists. If people believe, they should know they can provide their input to the Globe, talk to radio, their state legislators, their city councilor."
In his electoral campaign, Patrick's political organization successfully managed to combine cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned precinct politics in order to provide him with "a campaign infrastructure that was critical for rising popularity and victory." The campaign was able to "communicate directly with a large network, sending messages, videos, tributes - anything that would counteract negative news and promote Patrick."
Harriett L. Stanley, a Democrat of West Newbury, also praises Patrick's idea of keeping the field organization active and keeping lawmakers at a distance: "it's a good move. We are the Beacon Hill culture, and I am comforted to see [that] he is not including a lot of retreads and people who have been around for a long time in his transition."
The main purpose of the organization is, as Walsh and Rubin say, to involve Patrick's supporters in civic life in order to influence local and state affairs. Another purpose of the organization would be to lobby Beacon Hill and act as an antidote to predominantly conservative talk-radio shows.
Deval Patrick could ensure that he will have his supporters votes in the future if he decides not to endorse a Democratic presidential candidacy. This will convince Massachusetts voters that they have a governor that is not trying to use the office for national ambitions.
Regarding his candidacy, Deval Patrick characterized himself as "the victor against conventional wisdom that suggested it was quixotic if not stupid of him to run in his first campaign for elective office." Patrick also claimed that "some reporters were openly contemptuous of his campaign" and that "newsroom budget cuts have affected the quality of political reporting."
However, during the campaign, Deval Patrick has had his share of attacks coming from his opponents. The strongest attacks came from Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, who began airing a television ad in October, 2006, that attacks Patrick for his advocacy on behalf of convicted individuals. Healey attacks on Patrick had become an ordinary thing: "the rivalry between Patrick and Kerry Healey has become a study in polar opposites, between the relentlessly positive Patrick and an opponent whose campaign becomes grimmer and more resentful by the day."
Deval Patrick's "best friend" in the 2006 gubernatorial election was the 50-state strategy. It has been confirmed that the Democratic National Committee's 50-state strategy "helped make a difference in critical races across the country this mid-term election. Democrat's commitment to rebuilding the Party everywhere and not just in a few key states helped to reap big dividends in areas once thought to be un-winnable."
The 50 state strategy considered each state to be an opportunity. Every area of every state was considered to have an important role to play in some race. Through this campaign, the Democrats tried to build a ground operation that will be sustained as a permanent party infrastructure after the elections. Governor Howard Dean's opinion was that the futue of the Democratic Party depends on the success of this strategy.
Deval Patrick's success in the 2006 gubernatorial election comes from implementing the 50 state strategy, which has shown, among others, hat the Democrats are more united than ever, therefore more reliable for their voters. They know how to combine modern techniques with old-fashioned ones in order to achieve the…