Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Just Gave $1000 Each To Heidi Heitkamp And Tammy Baldwin

I'm happy to say that I've just given $1000 to Heidi Heitkamp and to Tammy Baldwin.

Running in North Dakota, Heitkamp is probably in the best bang-for-the-buck race there is. The candidates each raise about $4 million in a year, much less than the double-digit millions you get in big Senate races elsewhere. And it's a cheap media market. There's some concern that the money may go past the point of diminishing returns. But if there's anything at all that can be done with money to win over one North Dakota voter, I'm happy to pay for it, as votes in sparsely populated states are a bigger chunk of the total electorate. The state hasn't been polled heavily, but the last survey (from Mason-Dixon) had North Dakota in a 47-47 tie. She was Jonathan Bernstein's poster child for a candidate whom your money might lead to victory, due to the amount of money involved in her race, and unlike the president.   So if you just want to make a Democratic Senator, this is the place to put your money down. She won't be the most progressive member of the Senate by any means, but she's good enough that getting her to win North Dakota would be a steal.

I'm donating to Tammy Baldwin because if she wins, I think she'll be the best new Senator we have. There's plenty of good stuff to be said about Elizabeth Warren, but between two wonderful candidates my preference is for Baldwin's experience combined with left-wing positions on issues. Not only did she oppose the Iraq War, but she called for impeaching Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez. She doesn't just support the public option -- she supports full-fledged single-payer health care. National Journal had Baldwin in a 7-way tie for being the most left-wing person in the House in 2010. I worried that Tommy Thompson's victory on the Republican side would make the race difficult. But polls usually have Baldwin with a slight lead right now. As she just turned 50 this year and seems to be a rock-solid campaigner, she could occupy the potentially at-risk Wisconsin Senate seat with solidly liberal views for decades.

Feel free to use my ActBlue page if you'd like to donate. Jeff Merkley's Leadership PAC is, as always, my #1 pick for donations, since it strengthens Democratic candidates while passing the money through one of the party's best progressive tacticians. But I've maxed out, so I'm happy to donate directly to these two candidates.


Toast said...

Damn! I didn't know philosophizing paid so well. ;-)

ikl said...

Good picks!

low-tech cyclist said...

I've already given to both of these excellent candidates, and I'll probably throw a few more shekels Heitkamp's way, because I think it'll make a difference.

But I'm gonna hit the House races this weekend. I might give another few hundred to Senate candidates, but most of my remaining contributions budget is going to House candidates.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Toast, last year when I got a bonus for getting a paper published in a top journal, I told my department head that it was all going to help Democrats win more elections. (She's Singaporean, but has proper left-wing sympathies.)

Sounds good, ltc! I'd be happy to hear what you're doing.

Erik the Political Hack said...

Good post, but I do want to advise that your money is generally best spend giving directly to the candidates via their websites or sending a check. ActBlue takes a not insignificant fee.

longwalkdownlyndale said...

Awesome! When I worked on campaigns I always thought it was fun when you get unexpected donations from out of the way places.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Yeah, checks are better. But from Singapore it'd take 2 weeks before they'd arrive.

I've replied to "You're a US citizen, right?" emails from compliance people at both campaigns now, and sent them my US address. Glad to know that they might be intrigued rather than annoyed.