Over the last few months there have been several special elections to fill Congressional seats left vacant. Democrats performed better in all of them over the last few cycles. However, they still lost. And that’s a problem.
Specifically in two races Democrats lost what seemed to be seats ripe to turn from red to blue. Montana and Georgia CD-6. They had legitimate chances to win both seats but instead of putting up liberal Democrats the corporate machinery of the party put up two conservative Democrats.
The main problem with this is, if non-Democratic voters can not tell the difference between a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate, then they are not going to vote for the Democrat.
2016 Should have taught Democrats a lesson… It didn’t
There are a lot of theories as to why Hillary Clinton lost the electoral college (just to note I will never say that Clinton lost the election, because she did not, she lost the electoral college), but one sticks out to me. She was not liberal enough.
A lot has been made about the Democratic primary. If Democrats were wanting what is considered a moderate Democrat, Clinton would have won by a landslide.
The base of the Democratic Party has slid to the left while the power and corporate base have slid to the right. The other problem the Democratic Party has is that they simply want to campaign against Donald Trump. While this will get them a few percentages in a political race, it will not flip seats. This also has a lot to do with the gerrymandering of districts country wide, but I will discuss that later.
First let us take a brief look at the two front and center congressional races that the Democrats lost.
Democrats cannot beat a man who assaulted a reporter the day before the election.
Yes this is about Wyoming. This race should have been an easy win for Democrats especially after the (now elected) Republican candidate body slammed a reporter and then lied about it.
It was heavily publicized and yet the Democrats still lost the race. There are those out there that will say that because the incident happened the night before the election that there was not enough time to affect him. However, the incident was widely reported. Even the Fox News team that was there for an interview confirmed the assault.
Now the newly elected congressman from Montana has a criminal record and has been sworn into Congress.
Democrats stood no chance in the Georgia CD-6
The Republican in this race had previously resigned from Secretary of State. She had said that it was to focus on her run for governor. However, many within the state felt that it was because of ethics issues. She had previously purged thousands of voters off the rolls. She was also highly anti-LGBTQ.
This should have been a slam dunk for Democrats, however once again the Democrats put up a conservative and he lost. There were other issues (like the fact that not all of DeKalb County was in the district) but the overriding factor was a poor candidate.
When the initial primary occurred, the Democrat was a hair away from garnering the 50%+ in order to avoid the runoff. When he did not get there I did not believe at the time that he would win.
Gerrymandering will have a bigger effect on races than candidates
After the Republican Party was embarrassed in the 2008 election they regrouped. However, they went in a direction not a lot of people noticed. They focused on state legislative races instead of national races. Why? In order to be in power when redistricting happened after the 2010 Census. And it worked.
A lot of those gerrymandered districts have been challenged but most have not, including Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
In Arkansas, for instance I live in Russellville and in District 3 with very conservative Northwest Arkansas Russellville is technically in north central Arkansas. Clarksville which is 20 miles west of Russellville is in District 4. Ft. Smith, which borders Oklahoma is in the 3rd district.
In the image the 3rd district is yellow, the 4th district is purple
Republicans in states around the country designed districts to favor Republicans at the national level and it worked like a charm. Since the 2010 Census there has been three national Congressional elections. Democrats have gotten far more votes overall yet Republicans have increased their lead in each race.
Democrats have already changed at the base now it’s time for the top
The Democratic base has slid far to the left as previously stated. Now they need leadership at the top to slide left as well. The corporate leadership is now out of favor with most of the party.
This is very obvious and yet Democratic leaders still cannot figure out why they cannot win elections.