Donna Edwards, Obama and Transformation

This is a potential wave of change that can sweep the nation, and it would not be possible on this scale without the two movements scratching each other’s backs. However, because both movements are roaring, we stand at the brink of a transformational moment in American politics. -Chris Bowers

Today at OpenLeft Chris Bowers has a very good post. It’s about what happened yesterday and what it could mean for the progressive movement and America. Yesterday progressive champion Donna Edwards defeated corrupt incumbent Al Wynn in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s fourth congressional district and Barack Obama rode a wave of new voters to overwhelming victories in Maryland, Virgina and DC.

First of all if you don’t know about the Edwards vs Wynn race read up about it here.

But back to the post Chris made.

turnout was significantly higher than in September 2006. Seventeen months ago, when Donna Edwards lost by 3%, there were about 77,000 voters in the primary. Last night, turnout seems to have been about 113,000, an increase of about 47%. Despite the large increase in turnout, Wynn’s overall numbers did not change much. Seventeen months ago, he received about 38-39,000 votes. This year, it looks like Wynn will receive about 40-41,000 votes.

There is not enough data to prove this exactly but here are the basics. 47% more people voted and mostly because of the presidential primary. A large majority of those voters voted in the presidential primary because of Barack Obama. Those new voters also overwhelmingly voted for Donna Edwards. The end result? Not only does Barack Obama win but his victory helps bring about the the first progressive primary victory against an incumbent U.S. House Democrat in a decade. Two movements. Working side by side.

In the end, the two movements supplemented each other quite nicely. Now, we not only have a wave of new voters, but we have a wave of new progressive voters that sent a powerful message of change to Democrats, corporations, and basically everyone in Washington, D.C.  That strikes me as exactly the message that both movements hoped to send.

Ladies and gentleman. You’ve just seen the first result of the Obama Effect. Even Howie Klein sees it:

The new voters who were so motivated by Obama also voted overwhelmingly for Donna. Basically with voter participation skyrocketing in Maryland, Wynn’s numbers are pretty much the same as what he got in 2006. Most of those extra voters went for Donna and her message of real change.

To be blunt. We won big last night. This is could be the beginning of a real transformation. Essentially Barack Obama ,who would probably be the most progressive president since the 60’s, is bringing thousands of new voters to the polls. Those voters are sweeping progressive down ballot candidates into office. In the general election we are talking about a huge effect that has the potential to make the difference in a lot of close races and sweep in new majorities in the house and senate.

In short there is potential for a real transformation.

But change never comes easy. And transformation certainly does not.

So let’s get active. On Sunday I wrote a diary about 5 easy ways to get active. Check it out. Also one more thing. My fellow blogger snout launched the Obama Action Network today, it is a group for all Obama supporters who are taking action. It will be a great resource to help you take action and have fun while you’re doing it. Action, fun and transformation. Does it get better?

And always remember one thing: Donate!

Let’s get active my friends. Tag, you’re it!

2 comments

    • pfiore8 on February 14, 2008 at 3:10 am

    and i hope you are right about Barack Obama.

    i also hope that politicians see this as an emergence of a citizenry becoming more activist.

    i hope that Sen. Obama is understanding that. that voters are turning out because they want their country back. they will expect him to deliver on that.

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