I will be taking some time to evaluate what we accomplished, where we should be going, and how to get there. If anyone has feedback on these, please feel free to post a comment or email me at ddonnelly [at] campaignmoney.org.
Here's my quick take on what we did:
Since being elected in 1984, Tom DeLay had never had a close race. Until now. On Tuesday, DeLay was re-elected with 55% of the vote. And he had to work hard to win. We should feel good about that.
In Washington, insiders maintained this race was not going to be very close and they walked away from the fight. But not us. DeLay is now on that rarified list of incumbents — those elected with 55% of the vote or less — who are considered vulnerable in their next election. Even in a "solidly Repiblican district," voters in DeLay's district don't like pay-to-play politics anymore than the rest of the country. He should be placed on everyone's national target list for 2006. We should feel better about that.
As one person emailed me:
I'm writing to say thanks to you and your organization. I too feel that you made a lot of difference. For one thing, you gave some of us here in Texas hope that DeLay could lose. I, for one, had just assumed he'd be re-elected and that those people in Sugarland really approve of his policies. So, your information helped me adjust my thinking.
I heard Pelosi talking in CSpan yesterday and heard her say that any Republican incumbent with 55% or less is considered to have a weak hold on their office and will be targeted in 2006. Again, thanks to you, that now includes DeLay.
Campaign Money Watch defied conventional wisdom when we decided to take Tom DeLay on in his district. And we made a difference in this race. Despite DeLay's survival, this was the right fight for us. And it's one we are strongly looking at continuing.
Yet, to give us all pause and cause for this on-going fight, here is what Majority Leader DeLay had to say about the election:
"With a bigger majority, we can do even more exciting things."