9 thoughts after a week at Disney World
Politics seems to be everywhere — or is it?
After a week at Disney World with four kids ages 10 and younger, I was ready to return to work. And there has been no shortage of news in the last few days. Here are some thoughts on happenings inside and outside the Orlando area.
Quit scapegoating third-party candidates. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been in the presidential race for approximately 12 minutes and everyone already has his candidacy figured out. In close races, everything matters, so he could lower President Donald Trump’s threshold for victory in key states. But we also have to remember that elections aren’t a zero-sum game. There are some voters who won’t support a Republican or a Democrat, and will actively seek out another option as a political statement. Not all Libertarians are actually Republicans, and not all Green Party members are just Democrats.
Order the fresh fruit waffle sandwich with chocolate hazelnut spread from Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom. It will make you temporarily forget about the crowds, lines and politics.
There’s no downside to an ambitious target list. I used to get upset when party campaign committees released long lists of takeover targets that included races that looked impossible. But I’ve learned to be open-minded about how races could develop over the course of nearly two years and to remind myself that these lists don’t come with a guarantee of financial investment later. They are a way to gain national and local media attention, recruit candidates, alert donors, and build morale because defense isn’t as sexy.
Show me the money. It looks like Republicans succeeded in creating their own ActBlue alternative called Patriot Pass. But I’m still not convinced the lack of a centralized small-dollar platform was what created the fundraising chasm with Democrats last cycle. President Donald Trump fueled Democratic donors, not ActBlue. It’s possible Republicans rise up against the eventual Democratic nominee in a similar way, but for now, I’m skeptical that GOP candidates will see the boost they might be expecting from Patriot Pass.
Two good places to take a mid-afternoon nap at the Magic Kingdom: Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress. Better yet, get to the park when it opens in the morning, go back to your hotel to take a nap in the afternoon and hit the park again at night. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Politics isn’t everything. I stood in line for hours over the course of a week— lines for rides, food, buses, shopping, airport security — among thousands of people, and I can’t remember overhearing any conversation about U.S. politics. There was one guy with a Trump 2020 shirt, but that was about it. Part of this phenomenon could have been the large contingency of South Americans who apparently chose Orlando as their destination last week, or maybe politics isn’t at the top of everyone’s mind all the time.
Are early Senate ratings any good? I went back and compared our January 2017 Senate ratings to our list of competitive races on Election Day 2018 and eight of the final 12 races were the same. The exceptions didn’t take into account GOP Sen. Bob Corker’s subsequent retirement in Tennessee, Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s unexpectedly strong campaign, DFL Sen. Tina Smith’s appointment in Minnesota, and Sen. Robert Menendez’s continued legal problems in New Jersey. I’ll look further back at previous cycle’s ratings in Friday’s issue of Inside Elections.
Democratic dancing machine. Freshman Democrat Max Rose of New York’s 11th District posted a video of himself dancing with constituents. I’d make a small wager that it will be used in a campaign ad against him.
Order a warm cinnamon roll and LeFou’s Brew from Gaston’s Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. It’s not good for you, but it is delicious. You’re welcome.
Also watch: First 2020 Senate race ratings are here