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After their considerable losses in the 2002 mid-term elections, Terry McAuliffe and the Democratic National Committee desperately needed to match their Republican adversaries’ voter turnout efforts. Their solution: Project 5104.

Standing for “winning 51% of the vote in 2004,” Project 5104 is the Democratic equivalent of the famed Republican “72-hour project,” which was used to mobilize Republican voters in the mid-term elections. At its core, Project 5104 contains a database of over 158 million registered voters nationwide, including economic and consumer data. Ultimately, the database will be used to deliver targeted campaign messages to voters in an attempt to get them to turn out in support of the Democrats in the 2004 election. Presumably, this will better enable them to determine who is, or is not a “soccer mom.”

Although I’m a Democrat, I’m skeptical of the party’s ability to beat the Republicans at their own game. It’s heartening to see them make the attempt, but at this point, I’m not sure they understand why they lost the election. The Democratic party has yet to establish itself as a viable opposition to the Republican regime -- instead, they answer the President’s policies with a resounding “Me, too” approach.

Example: “The President believes we should invade Iraq. Me, too.”

Let’s hope that come 2004, the Democratic party is capable of utilizing their new database effectively -- namely by conveying just why they are preferable to the Republicans. Because it’s more than just knowing who the voters are demographically -- it’s providing them with accurate information about who the Democrats are and what they stand for.

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