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Eleazar 04-19-2017 08:00 AM

When will the Democrats win again?
 
Democrats begin to wonder: When do we win?

For all the roiling anger and energy at the grassroots, the party still fell short in Georgia and Kansas. And Democratic prospects in upcoming elections aren't promising.

By GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI 04/19/17 05:06 AM EDT




As it became clear late Tuesday evening that Jon Ossoff would fall just short of the 50-percent mark in the first round of voting in a suburban Atlanta special election, Democrats back in Washington started leafing through their calendars and asking: When does the winning start?

Ossoff’s moral victory — capturing 48 percent of the vote in a conservative-oriented district — was welcome, but after two successive close-but-no-cigar finishes in House special elections in Georgia and Kansas, a new worry is beginning to set in.

For all the anger, energy, and money swirling at the grassroots level, Democrats didn’t manage to pick off the first two Republican-held congressional seats they contended for in the Trump era, and the prospects aren’t markedly better in the next few House races coming up: the Montana race at the end of May, and the South Carolina contest on June 20.

Their best shot at knocking Donald Trump down a peg appears to be Ossoff’s runoff against Republican Karen Handel, also scheduled for June 20. But the Democrat will be an underdog in that contest, when there won’t be a crowded field of Republicans to splinter the vote.

After that, it’ll be another five months before the New Jersey and Virginia elections for governor, leaving some strategists and lawmakers wondering how to keep the furious rank-and-file voters engaged in fueling and funding the party’s comeback — especially given the sky-high expectations that surrounded Ossoff’s ultimately unsuccessful run at the 50-percent threshold that was necessary to win the seat outright.

“The resistance has it right: they are fighting mad, but they find joy in the fight. And so it’s not that anybody should be expected to gloss over the challenges that we have, or be Pollyanna about our situation as a country or as a party,” said Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, decrying some of the party’s messaging describing the prospect of an Ossoff loss as devastating. “It’s just that there has to be a sense of momentum that builds over time and that requires that we define our objectives tightly — and that we are prepared to lose more than we win for the time being, but that we understand that we have the vast majority of the American people on our side, and history on our side.”

Democrats have posted a few successes in the opening months of the Trump era. They’ve slowed the new president’s agenda and overperformed in a slew of low-profile state legislative races. By any measure, Ossoff’s strong performance in Georgia and the 20-point swing toward the Democratic nominee in last week’s Kansas special election are impressive accomplishments given the conservative orientation of those districts. But they still fall under the category of loss mitigation, not victories against a president the party loathes.

Now, with Ossoff falling short of an outright win despite an unprecedented surge of campaign cash and national attention — in a district which Hillary Clinton lost by just one point in 2016 — comes the potential for another round of finger-pointing within the party. The worry: that if operatives and voters continue their practice of quietly blaming each other for losses, as they did after a narrow defeat outside of Wichita last week, the current level of runaway enthusiasm and budding trust in the national party leadership could sputter out long before the 2018 midterms.

“Whatever happens over the next few weeks, it’s critical that rank-and-file Democrats feel like the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] left it all on the playing field,” said longtime party strategist Simon Rosenberg, president of the NDN think tank.

After attorney James Thompson came within seven points of winning the race for CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s old seat in Kansas last week, some leading progressive voices, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, were quick to blame national Democrats for not spending enough time and energy to help Thompson. Since then, DCCC and Democratic National Committee officials have been sure to detail the work they’ve done for the party ahead of Ossoff’s race.

With the approach of a Montana contest that will see national resources poured in while political celebrities like Sanders descend on the state to support candidate Rob Quist, the question Democrats are asking themselves is whether it will be enough — and how to keep the grassroots fires stoked as Trump’s administration passes its first 100 days mark. Trump won Montana by 21 points, after all, and the race in Georgia to replace HHS Secretary Tom Price illustrated that a combination of Republican infighting, the Trump factor and an avalanche of campaign cash still isn’t enough to guarantee Democratic success.

The South Carolina race to replace Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will take place under similarly difficult conditions — in a district Trump won by 18 points, and in a state where he won by 14.

One way to avoid a letdown, some Democrats say, is to train the focus on legislative fights where Democrats have slowed the White House, from its travel ban to the attempt to repeal Obamacare. Party operatives figure pushes like that might be enough to keep the base energized as opportunities to push back on individual policies surface.

“People are responding to Trump, and as long as Trump is in office they will continue to respond,” said Democratic pollster Margie Omero. “There are plenty of other avenues for engagement. Constant meetings and groups popping up all over the country. You have corporate motivated efforts that people are taking to make sure that companies they support have political views that line up with their own. You have the groundswell of activism against [Neil] Gorsuch, and then you have the protests like the tax protest or the climate ones coming down the pike. So there’s lots of opportunity for opposing the president. [Yes,] as long there’s voting people are going to be paying a lot of attention to it. But it goes beyond that.”

The fact that Democrats have picked themselves up off the ground since Election Day to mount a resistance at all creates a positive feedback loop, they believe — pointing to local legislative races as evidence of an optimistic trend.

“The biggest driver of enthusiasm right now is the rejection of Trump and the Trump agenda,” said party strategist Jesse Ferguson, a former top official at the party’s House campaign wing. “There have been far more successes in resisting the Trump administration than anyone would have expected on November 10, whether it’s beating back the health care repeal or some of these special elections in state legislatures, or closer-than-expected congressional races.”

With the political map glaringly free of obvious near-term win opportunities, Schatz believes the party’s messaging needs some refining. In his view, that means officials at the DCCC should cut the doom-and-gloom messaging in their fundraising emails — a significant way the party communicates with backers.

“I don’t mind the occasional call to action that is based on a negative emotion, it’s the declaring final defeat at the start of the third quarter that bugs me. ‘All is lost’ is a preposterous thing to say to a voter or a donor, and to use words like ‘crushing’ is a total misunderstanding of how to motivate people,” he said on Tuesday, just hours before the DCCC sent out a Nancy Pelosi-signed note with the subject line "crushing loss."

“The point to be made here is this is Tom Price’s seat,” he added. "One of the most conservative people in the United States House. And when he vacated his seat nobody thought it was going to be a problem for national Republicans and competitive for us. So if we can keep up this competitiveness, it’s going to be a really interesting year in 2018. But if we define our success as winning in Kansas, Montana, and Georgia, we’re setting ourselves up for potential disappointment.”


http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...-ossoff-237348

BucEyedPea 04-19-2017 08:07 AM

What I don't like is all the outside money from the state these elections take place in. A rep should represent the people of his district, not be beholden to outside interests and their money.

Prison Bitch 04-19-2017 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BucEyedPea (Post 12830490)
What I don't like is all the outside money from the state these elections take place in. A rep should represent the people of his district, not be beholden to outside interests and their money.

I really don't follow that at all^


It's the United States. United. We don't charge any tariffs on interstate trade or travel, and that should also apply to interstate political funding.

Eleazar 04-19-2017 08:30 AM

The Democrat saviour didn't even live in the district he was running for, so criticisms about out-of-state money fall quite flat.

BucEyedPea 04-19-2017 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prison Bitch (Post 12830509)
I really don't follow that at all^


It's the United States. United. We don't charge any tariffs on interstate trade or travel, and that should also apply to interstate political funding.

The United States was not created by a national plebiscite but by the states—each of them individually via ratification. It created a federal republic where by each state is represented in the senate and the people in each of the state's districts.

A representative system based on reps from a district should be represented by their local constituents—not money from people by Soros, other globalists or interests from California.

It should be a clarion call of every reps campaign to point out these carpetbaggers.

HonestChieffan 04-19-2017 08:40 AM

There will be winning democrats. To think otherwise is folly

BucEyedPea 04-19-2017 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cochise (Post 12830517)
The Democrat saviour didn't even live in the district he was running for, so criticisms about out-of-state money fall quite flat.

How do criticisms of out-of-state money fall quite flat?

I call people who move to a local area for the sole purpose of running to be carpetbaggers. The whole idea behind electing senators by popular vote was allegedly to prevent corruption, but it lead to more because outside the state's interests have influenced those seats.

I thought there were laws requiring a candidate for congress to live in the area, because they're familiar with their issues.

Prison Bitch 04-19-2017 08:42 AM

The GOPe tried to destroy the Republican nominee this year. It was f***ing incredible to watch. Like everything they try, they failed miserably of course. But let's not mock Dems because they at least TRY to win. GOPe tries to lose

Loneiguana 04-19-2017 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cochise (Post 12830517)
The Democrat saviour didn't even live in the district he was running for, so criticisms about out-of-state money fall quite flat.

Considering that happens, a lot, and law requires a representative to live in district within 2 years of being elected, and that you are ignoring he grew up in that district, you are really showing your natural talent to blindly repeat talking points with zero understanding.

Good job.

BucEyedPea 04-19-2017 08:47 AM

This is a VERY conservative district where Price came from. It was the district Newt Gingrich represented.

Loneiguana 04-19-2017 08:50 AM

"Democrat wins over twice as many votes as any other candidate but falls two points short of outright majority; forces runoff election in Trump district GOP won."


With this:

According to 538, there are 47 Republican House seats in districts that lean more Democratic than GA-6.

Between this and Kansas leaning more democratic, its easy to see why the GOP needs articles like this.

Bewbies 04-19-2017 09:18 AM

I used to live in this district. It's very conservative, Ossoff will lose by 10 points in June.

This race features a guy who doesn't live in the district getting 95%+ of his money from outside the state. He got called out repeatedly by local media (which leans way left) for stretching the truth or outright lying in his ads. Celebrity commercials down here didn't even mention his name, just said vote for the democrat.

His opponent was a tea party favorite a few years ago. She's anti-Trump, which says a lot about the voters cause Romney smoked Obama here, and Trump squeaked out a win over Hillary.

Sad to see the dems sending an out of district white man all that money to try and take away a local woman's job. LMAO

scho63 04-19-2017 09:29 AM

George Soros failed again! I love it.

When will Mitch McConnell start going on the floor of the Senate and keep saying- "George Soros this" "George Soros that" "George Soros bad guy" "George Soros special interests" "George Soros trying to buy elections"

Anyong Bluth 04-19-2017 09:32 AM

The guy is from here, and as soon as his girlfriend finishes Med school at Emory, he was planning on moving back.

Otherwise, I would agree that your representative should actually live where he is elected. Ahem, Pat Roberts... ahem.

vailpass 04-19-2017 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loneiguana (Post 12830539)
"Democrat wins over twice as many votes as any other candidate but falls two points short of outright majority; forces runoff election in Trump district GOP won."


With this:

According to 538, there are 47 Republican House seats in districts that lean more Democratic than GA-6.

Between this and Kansas leaning more democratic, its easy to see why the GOP needs articles like this.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...2HipaTe661n9aD


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