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Will Obama Help Democrats Get To 60 In The Senate?

Until now, the Obama campaign has consistently taken the position that the candidate’s coat tails were sufficient help to down-ticket races.  But in the closing days of the campaign, with Republicans imploding and tearing each other apart, they’ve decided to step up their efforts:

Now, with his lead in the polls holding steady, the Illinois senator has begun to volunteer his campaign staff to assist fellow Democrats, channel funds to state Democratic parties and appear himself on the campaign trail with other candidates.

That’s good, but I hope they go further.  

John Podesta, who is in charge of the transition, was here at FDL the other day and said that Democrats really need 60 votes in the Senate or there isn’t much hope for the Employee Free Choice Act. 

Likewise,  the contours of health care legislation or an economic stimulus  package would largely be determined by Republicans like Susan Collins or Olympia Snow if the Democrats are one or two votes shy, and that would make them the new powerbrokers.

We’re just too close right now to let the opportunity slip away to let that happen.  The potential is there to shut down any potential GOP filibuster in the Senate for the next 2 years.

Here’s where Pollster has the McConnell/Lunsford race in Kentucky right now:

Mitch McConnell is the glue that holds the Republicans together.  He has almost single-handedly kept the Democrats on the ropes since he became Minority Leader, and he’s managed to run rings around the Democrats.  Without him, the Republicans would be severely crippled.  He’s in bad shape in Kentucky — he’s trending downward in the polls, and as shrewd an organizer as he is he’s never been a good campaigner.  

Now is the time to take him out.

Chambliss is likewise 46.1 to Martin’s 42.2, and the gap is closing fast.  Musgrove (45.6)  is within shouting distance of Wicker (47.1).  Franken, Merkeley and Hagen all have slim leads over their Republican opponents.  A serious infusion of cash into these races could seal the deal for Obama’s ability to legislate the kind of dramatic change he has promised, and the kind of change we desperately need right now.

Obama will raise more money than he can possibly spend before election day.  He shouldn’t take his eye off the ball — nothing is a lock in terms of the presidency, and his own race rightly demands all of his attention.

But if he can guarantee a loan to the DSCC, or send out a fundraising appeal to his email list on their behalf (or on behalf of Democrats in key Senatorial races), now is the time to do it.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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