Well, after a long bout of excessive work and little fun (a time period I call "too damn long"), I'm back, and it's time to take a good hard look at what's been going on in my district, North Carolina 10, as of the last few months. The gist of it all? Johnson needs to buck up and work harder, and McHenry's more screwed than he's ever been in his life.
First off, let's backpedal. After the primary, all the NC-10 politics died down- everyone literally shut up and went home. Of course, then came the inevitable lull- no-one really cared anymore about the race, and everyone basically sat around and waited for something to happen. And, unfortunately, our Congressional candidates did nothing- they quite literally sat around twiddling their thumbs and, in the words of a good friend, "did a whole lotta nothin'".
This was precisely what DIDN'T need to happen: everyone going quiet. What was once the most violent race in the state has now had it's naptime. We, as Democrats, can't play this way: McHenry has too many connections for us to sit around.
So, with no further adieu, I bring you two lists: Why McHenry is going to have a hard time this November, and subsequently, what Daniel Johnson needs to do to make his life harder. You know, because life isn't supposed to be easy when you are a corrupt politician.
Why Patrick McHenry is going to have a difficult time:
1. He's split his party. By threatening a bunch of Republicans when he ran against Lance Sigmon (including refusing to come to Catawba County for a debate, insulting various members, etc), he has essentially pissed off 50% of Republicans- who will probably be hesitant to vote for him (if they vote at all).
2. There really aren't that many Republicans anyway. According to Drama Queen, "With only 60 percent of Democrats choosing him, Johnson received 41,076 votes. With more than 67 percent of 10th District Republicans backing McHenry, he still only got 34,457 votes.". Translation? There aren't that many Republicans in the district. And no matter how many people will try to say that they "switched to Democrat to vote against Hillary", 10,000 10th district Republicans didn't switch over.
3. He's got more controversy than a naughty Catholic Priest. Just see Pat go Bye Bye or Republicans Against Patrick McHenry
4. He's been insulated so far. Many people have mentioned this before- McHenry NEVER responds to questions, his press people do. When the rubber has to hit the road and he has to start meeting and greeting people outside of bland protective Republican meetings (that is, when he actually has to try to get Democrats or Independents to vote for him), he will stumble.
All that above being said, McHenry still has some major strengths. So...
What Daniel Johnson needs to do:
1. Be more agressive. Seriously. Johnson seems to take McHenry on occasionally, but never in a hard-hitting way. McHenry seems to do his worst when he's being attacked (he gets nervous, I guess)- don't back down on his waffling on Energy and blaming it on the Democrats.
2. Focus on Republicans. Okay, you've already begun this (with the whole Fundamentalist Christian letter that came out), but do this harder, even with Independents. Ethics trump voting record- and McHenry hasn't really done much for the district voting-wise in the first place other than just voting Republican. Remember, McHenry spoke out against McCain for President- they won't like to hear that.
3. Demand a debate. Sigmon screwed this up- don't you do it. Debate McHenry- and not on "the issues", he'll just read from his NRCC handbook. Demand to know why he's the laughingstock of Congress. Start with the controversies on Pat go Bye Bye and Republicans Against Patrick McHenry
4. Don't rely on the party for support. Don't be such an adherent to the official Democratic party- be more independent (and I don't mean politically). Act on your own, think on your own, run out and try new things. Try doing things on the cheap and do them often. Hell, spend a day at a big Grocery store shaking hands- you have the advantage of being closer to home than McHenry will ever be.
5. Hold town hall discussions. McHenry's doing this- do this yourself. HOLD ONE EVERY MONTH in every county- it's not THAT hard. Do it at a public place, and invite people from both parties to ask questions. Yes, this can be time consuming and awkward, but like I said above, that's something McHenry would never be able to do.
In any case, remember, Daniel, we're all rooting for you- keep working. Some of us can't help that much (I can barely afford the gas in my truck let alone free time to go somewhere), but we'll all try to help as much as possible. Knock that sleezeball McHenry out of the park.