Steve Grossman, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and a possible candidate for Massachusetts governor in 2002, last night urged Harvard Democrats to emphasize big themes but concrete ideas for the 2000 cycle and beyond.
Grossman, a longtime supporter of and aide to Vice President Al Gore '69, said the presidential race between Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush would likely be a "bloodbath."
"This election will be incredibly ugly," he told the Harvard College Democrats during an informal discussion in the Adams House Junior Common Room. Grossman predicted that Gore would win the election.
He said the Democratic Party will likely devote most of its fundraising dollars toward campaigns in the House of Representatives this year. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to take control of the body, which has traditionally functioned without cross-party coalitions.
Young voters, he said, may prove the key to victory in tight races.
"Virtually every close election in Massachusetts has been decided by College Democrats or young Democrats," he said.
Referring to Jesse Ventura's capture of the Minnesota governorship and John S. McCain's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Grossman said successful candidates would be those who make themselves accessible to voters.
Their campaigns "proved that a lot of people will come out and vote for a candidate who is authentic," he said.
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