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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New Dem Secretaries of State Boosted Obama’s Chances

Avi Zenilman’s Politico article. “Dems’ Firewall: Secretary of State Offices,” reports on a largely overlooked story of campaign ’08. As Zenilman explains it,

In anticipation of a photo-finish presidential election, Democrats have built an administrative firewall designed to protect their electoral interests in five of the most important battleground states.
The bulwark consists of control of secretary of state offices in five key states — Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio — where the difference between victory and defeat in the 2004 presidential election was no more than 120,000 votes in any one of them.

Dem secretaries of state in battleground states are now “better positioned” to prioritize voter registration and increase turnout and perhaps more importantly, to interpret and administer election law, adds Zenilman. His article spotlights the big difference Ohio Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has made in making it hard for Republicans to steal votes this year, and Seyward Darby has more on Brunner’s efforts in his New Republic article , “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”
Zenilman credits an independent 527 group, The Secretary of State (“SOS”) Project for raising $500,000 that helped win ’06 secretary of state races for Democrats, along with ActBlue, which contributed $24,000 to help elect Democrat Mary Herrera to the SOS post in NM. The Project sees a good chance to elect Dem SOS candidates tomorrow in MO, MT, OR and WV.

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