Do Dems Have the Playbook to Avoid Another 2010?

Lon Johnson, the chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, doesn’t want to ever see 2010 again.

That was the year that GOP took all three branches of Michigan government, hanging ten on a tsunami wave that swept Republicans into control of the House, Senate and the governor’s office.

Johnson pointed out that with so many more Democrats than Republicans in Michigan, that should be mathematically impossible. Michigan is the state that gave Barack Obama a 9-point victory in 2012 even though Republicans and conservative PACs outspent the Democrats and their liberal-monied friends by a 4 to 1 margin.

How could the 2010 debacle have happened? Johnson wondered this aloud to an audience of UAW and Democratic Party members as he opened a rally for the Democrats’ candidate for governor, Mark Schauer, on Sept. 8.

The reason was tragically simple for the true believers in the Grand Rapids, Mich., union hall: Democrats stayed home in 2010. Why? Perhaps they were still hung over from 2008 victory parties. Maybe it was a combination of victory hubris and a lack of exciting candidates.

Johnson said 995,000 registered Democrats did not vote in Michigan in 2010.

Johnson vowed to never let 2010 happen again.

“We can win. There are more of us than there are of them,” Johnson said. “All we have to do is get out there and kick ass on Election Day.”

That, and motivate 300,000 of the 995,000 Michigan Democrats who sat out the 2010 election to get off their couches and into an election booth. Johnson said that would be enough in November.

Technology will help. Michigan Democrats are going mobile, unveiling the Win Machine app that will show Democrats who are the slackers of their party and where they live.

“Give us two more weeks, and we will know their blood type,” said Johnson.

More than 100 volunteers are working out of 31 Democratic Party offices in Michigan with a goal of knocking on 1.2 million doors. Johnson is convinced if people who didn’t vote in 2010 are only given a good talking to, they will be motivated to cast a ballot Nov. 4.

And here’s the beauty of the Democrats’ plan. The slackers don’t even need to get up off the couch if they have a laptop or tablet handy.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was in Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 4 as Michigan Democrats unveiled an effort to pump up the volume on absentee ballot registration before the November election.

She told reporters Michigan Democrats had opened as a new statewide tool to allow voters to apply for absentee ballots.

"There is a clear contrast in the fundamental priorities of the Democratic and Republican parties,” said Wasserman Schultz. “While Republicans in Michigan attempt to implement unnecessary voting restrictions, Democrats like those here in Michigan will continue working to remove these voting barriers to ensure that every eligible citizen can cast their ballot.”

Michigan Republicans failed to respond to a PJM request for comment on the allegation of “unnecessary voting restrictions.”