100-Seat Challenge

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Ruy Teixeira had an interesting post last week, noting that the Democrats may challenge as many as 100 congressional seats in the 2006 midterm elections. Makes sense—especially with the minority party now polling well above Republicans, 50-38 according to Newsweek—and armchair strategists have been calling for this sort of tactic for ages. More interestingly, though, Teixeira argues that a 100-seat strategy is almost always preferable, since new research shows that spending any more than $1 million on a single race leads to diminishing returns. In other words, spreading around campaign cash far and wide will very likely garner more votes than pouring in lots of dollars into just a few races. It would be nice if we could get past the point where 99 percent of the House sails to re-election every two years, but now it seems, happily, that perhaps that state of affairs has only persisted because campaign strategists have an irrational belief in the power of money to win elections.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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