While the liberal run mainstream media and Democrat Washington insiders focus on President Trump’s supposed ties to Russia, the rank and file of the party are thinking about something far more pressing – how to win back seats in the House of Representatives.
The 2018 midterm elections will be the first test of the political durability of the Grand Old Party’s control of Washington and Democrats are anxiously looking for signs that momentum is in their favor.
More Democratic congressional candidates in decades will be vying for dozens of House districts across the country in less than two years and more than a few of those races promise to be bitterly contested.
Publicly, Democrats are putting their best face forward and promising a landslide in their favor in 2018. But privately many Democrats are skittish about their chances. Democratic strategists were deeply stung by the loss of 30-year-old Jon Ossoff in George a few months ago.
In spite of spending a record amount on the campaign in the closely watched special election in suburban Atlanta to Republican Karen Handel their promised reply to Trump’s election failed. After Ossoff started his race vowing to “make Trump furious,” he avoided attacks on the president during the general election because he believed that a less partisan message would win over independents. That strategy failed.
Activists in the Democratic Party are pitted against Washington-based leaders agreeing they want Trump out at any cost but are at odds on how to win state elections.
Given historical trends, Republican voters cannot afford to ignore the midterms. Midterm elections for first-term presidents are historically disastrous for the party that controls the White House.
Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball points out that the sitting president’s party has shed House seats in 36 of 39 midterms over the last 150 years. The average loss of 33 seats during a midterm is above the 24 seats Democrats need to take the House next year.
With Trump’s and the Republican controlled House’s unpopularity, the number of Democrat candidates with stellar resumes who are willing to run is sure to balloon.
A Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball report shows:
“There are now 26 Republican districts in the competitive Toss-up and Leans categories … So Democrats can look at that list and say that if they can win the Toss-ups and Leaners, they will win the House because they need to net just 24 seats to take control. That’s technically true, but, as argued above, it’s not really realistic: Even in a horrible GOP year, Democrats won’t sweep all of the top-tier races.”
Perhaps the greatest sigh of relief for Republicans comes from the sheer number of Democrat candidates and their lack of unity as to what the best path forward is.
Several districts that generally see only token candidates are packed with freshmen Democratic contenders with a broad variety of backgrounds.
Among the Democrat hopefuls are stem-cell researcher Hans Keirstead in California, veteran Jason Crow in Colorado, former gubernatorial aide Gareth Rhodes in Upstate New York, and former sneaker company executive Chrissy Houlahan in Pennsylvania.
The most troublesome factor for Democrats in the coming two years is the unwavering support of Trump voters especially among white working class America. The House Majority PAC, a Super PAC released a new poll of white working class voters that should set off alarms for the Democratic House leadership.
A significant majority of white working class voters believe that the term “will help improve the economy and create jobs” applies to Republicans in Congress than it does to Democrats in Congress.
Many Democrats are frustrated that their national leadership is so focused on “Russia Gate” they have failed to focus on a message they believe will win.
“We suffer from the lack of an identifiable positive agenda. Without it, voters will turn to Trump for progress. With it, we can make significant gains,” said one Democratic pollster.
First-time candidate Colin Allred, a former NFL linebacker for the Tennessee Titans and civil rights attorney warns his party that the midterms will be shaped by “kitchen table issues” – not on lobbing attacks against Trump.
With a message that is not reaching white working class voters the House Democratic leadership has yet to hit upon a winning formula for 2018. At the same time, Republicans can not rest on their win in the White House to ensure voters don’t give them their walking papers in two years.
~ American Liberty Report