Blue America has helped channel nearly two million dollars into congressional campaigns. And, of course, the results have been mixed. We lost some and we won some. The National Journal measured the effectiveness of the Inside the Beltway political action committees and didn’t include us because, proudly, we’re 100% Outside the Beltway. However we helped People For the American Way put together their own endorsement list and we joint fundraised for the candidates. The primary difference was that they included some a few candidates on their list that they have special relationships with. None of those candidates won. And People For the American Way came in #1 in the National Journal survey.
If you read that paragraph carefully, you realize that Blue America outperformed– in terms of picking winning candidates– every single Inside the Beltway PAC. But, like I said, our results were mixed. We lost some important races– like Darcy Burner’s, John Laesch’s, Charlie Brown’s and Dennis Shulman’s– as well as helping 26 men and women win House and Senate seats. A few of the ones we helped have been disappointing and a few even went over to the reactionary Blue Dogs. Only one, though, Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA), was a disaster. Most, on the other hand, have been excellent members of Congress, from Donna Edwards (D-MD), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).
None of our winners, though, have done better than one of our most unlikely successes: Orlando progressive Alan Grayson. When we first endorsed him, no insiders thought he had even an outside chance to win the primary, let alone beat an entrenched, well-financed Republican incumbent. But almost immediately we realized that Alan was anything but a run of the mill Democrat. Tireless, brilliant, idealistic and down to earth, the more we got to know of Alan through the primary and general campaigns, the more we realized he could be a rare leader in Congress who could make an outsized difference. (more…)