As we start a new year (a mid-term election year), it is an appropriate time to look at goals/resolutions for 2014 for the Democratic Party.
For the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, two separate resolutions/goals:
1) Out of the nine Republican targets (Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia), win at least five of the nine. Realistically, 2008 was a great year for Democrats running for the Senate and winning 20 senate races again is not likely, but if we can win five of these nine we keep control.
2) Take at least one Senate seat away from the Republicans (best chances may be Georgia, Kentucky, and Maine). We are going to need some Tea Party help to do this, but the one thing that we can count on the Tea Party is to give us a Senate seat or two by winning a primary.
For the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
A simple resolution, defy history and pick up seats in the mid-term election of a second term. The party not in the White House normally picks up seats in the mid-term, especially when the other party is in its second (or more) consecutive term in the White House. The Democratic goal is hindered by the dwindling number of swing seats. A majority may be too much to ask for, but ending the year with 205-10 representatives might be achievable.
For the Democratic Governors Association:
1) Of the nine Republicans up for re-election in swing or lean Democratic states (Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), win at least four.
2) While this to some extent overlaps with the other resolution, have a strong showing in the southwest (defending Colorado, seeking open seats in Arizona and Texas, and challenging Republicans in Nevada and New Mexico). While it may not be possible to win all of these seats, keeping them all competitive is a necessary step to laying down a foundation for taking these states in 2016.
For the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee:
1) Regain control of some state legislative houses (particularly Iowa House and New Hampshire Senate and one of the houses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan).
2) Narrow the gap in other states.
Realistically, a lot of state houses have large Republican majorities (partially for geographic reasons, partially due to gerrymandering). However, picking up five or six seats per state would be a down payment on taking some of these houses later in the decade. Additionally, it might allow Democrats to work with more moderate Republicans against some of the more extreme measures put forward by the Tea Party.