I like to sign up for the email lists for all the candidates and parties because while it does make for a lot of junk mail it is a nice way for a political observer like myself to get a handle on the zeitgeist of partisan political messaging.
After you read these emails for a while you begin to realize how cynical they are. The subject lines are blatant click bait, and the messaging isn’t even remotely honest at times. Take, for instance, the below message from the North Dakota Democrats which landed in my inbox today inviting me to join their Century Club with a donation commitment.
“We have a long road ahead of us,” the email pitch states. “And we have an entire ticket of Dem-NPL candidates who need our support on their paths to victory in 2016.”
The Democrats have an entire ticket of candidates? That’s news to me. Because I’m pretty sure, at least on the statewide ballot, that Democrats have not a single announced candidate.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]The Democrats are telling their supporters that they have “an entire ticket” of candidates who need support, but as it stands today they don’t have a ticket at all.[/mks_pullquote]
It seems likely that Sarah Vogel will run for governor, given that she’s raising money, but she hasn’t made the announcement yet. State Rep. Corey Mock has also said that he has interest in maybe running for State Auditor, though he hasn’t announced yet either (and I’m hearing from Democrat friends that he’s disinclined to run as the office isn’t likely to serve the either his political ambition or his ego sufficiently).
The Democrats are telling their supporters that they have “an entire ticket” of candidates who need support, but as it stands today they don’t have a ticket at all.
That seems dishonest.
Of course, this is just one fundraising email blast. The sort of digital detritus which accumulates in our inboxes. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s just fundraising boilerplate the Democrats slapped into their email template and sent out without bothering to read that closely.
But it is telling on two fronts.
First, the Democrats continue to struggle mightily with candidate recruitment. They can make all the fluffy statements they want about finding strong candidates to run aggressive campaigns, but actions speak louder than words.
Second, this lack of attention to detail may be why Democrats struggle in North Dakota. When you’re a thoroughly marginalized party exiled by voters to the political wilderness the path back to relevance doesn’t lay through slapdash efforts like this.