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Wed Jan 18, 2017, 03:07 PM

Democrats: Left in the Lurch.

This is one of the best write-ups I've yet seen to help understand this election - where we're at - and why we're there.

When President-elect Donald Trump replaces Barack Obama on January 20, the Democratic Party will find itself more removed from power than at almost any point since the party’s creation.

Scorned by the same voters who once embraced the New Deal, built the Great Society, and put their hope in the nation’s first black president, Democrats are now locked out of power in Washington and out of two-thirds of state legislative chambers across the country.

Simply put, Democrats’ once vaunted coalition of the ascendant — younger, multiethnic, educated, and urban — failed them in 2016, and in 2014 and 2010 before that. That coalition proved to have major handicaps, part demographic and part geographic, that have been hollowing out the party for years.

Democrats may find cold comfort in Hillary Clinton’s nearly 3 million popular vote lead and the fact that more people call themselves “liberal” than ever polled. And they can, and do, fairly protest a system of representative government that allows the government to be so unrepresentative of the popular vote. But it will be up to Democrats to solve their own problem within the current rules.
...

Countless autopsies will be written of the 2016 election. Most will focus on the strategy and tactics of the Clinton campaign. But to understand how Democrats arrived in this mess to begin with, it helps to go back to the party’s founding over 150 years ago.
...

Obama’s former Attorney General Eric Holder recently launched a party-wide effort, backed by the outgoing president, focused on turning the tables on gerrymandering by winning back state legislatures ahead of 2020, when they will redraw congressional districts. The effort is crucial to Democrats’ ability to win back the House, since the party has only one chance to change the maps every 10 years.

But Democrats a have a deeper, structural problem beyond gerrymandering. Democrats lost the House in 2010 before Republicans had redrawn the maps.

The problem is quirky but its effects are profound: Electorally speaking, Democrats live in the wrong places.
...

Democrats could always just call 2016 a black swan event and carry on without major changes. Clinton won the popular vote, after all, and many Democrats think she only lost the Electoral College because of Russian hacking or FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute intervention.

In the 2020 presidential election, the electorate will continue to evolve in Democrats’ favor as minorities and millennials make up a larger share of overall voters while non-college educated whites continue to decline. Indeed, four more years of natural demographic changes alone might be enough to give Democrats the relatively tiny number of voters Clinton would have needed in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to win the Electoral College in 2016.
...

http://www.nbcnews.com/specials/democrats-left-in-the-lurch

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Response to jonno99 (Original post)

Wed Jan 18, 2017, 07:02 PM

1. "Electorally speaking, Democrats live in the wrong places."

 

If a million Los Angelenos spread out to Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, Democrats would never lose another national election again.

And they'd still win California by 3 million votes.

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Response to EL34x4 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 18, 2017, 07:48 PM

2. Excellent point. However, I'm inclined to go with the "black swan" argument. This

last election was a perfect storm of badness. By the next cycle the electorate will understand the vast depth of the void - which are the promises of Trump.

And there will be a reckoning...

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 03:03 AM

4. We ignore our mistakes at our peril. We never thought we'd lose to Bush twice* and we did.

I'd rather not have 8 years of trump instead of 4, just because hubris will not allow people to admit their hero has flaws.

This might be the most in depth explanation as to why we lost, and crickets. Very telling, indeed.

* leaving it close enough to steal is just as bad as an outright loss.

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 05:51 AM

6. I disagree

Ask Russ and the other Democrats who lost to the weak and wounded Republicans in the Senate races in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida
Or, in New Hampshire and Vermont where we lost the governor's mansions in reliably blue states in a Presidential election year
Treat it as a Black Swan event all you want. But, we've been falling further and further behind for the last twenty-five years and we need to fix it

As to the electorate will learn and the perfect storm, we've been telling ourselves that for years. Bush II was supposed to be the perfect storm and it turned out to be a momentary shower

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Response to jonno99 (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 02:58 AM

3. Very interesting piece!

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Response to jonno99 (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 03:07 AM

5. young liberal voters that normaly would have voted dem, voted green or didnt vote at all - why ?

 

Because of the "The elephant in the room".


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Response to factfinder_77 (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 05:55 AM

7. We got pounded in 2016

Point to HRC's 3 million votes all you want, but that and 2 bucks will still only get you two burgers off the .99 cent menu
We lost three senate races we were so certain we'd pick up, we lost governor's races in New Hampshire and Vermont.
We've been losing ground since 1990, with two or three momentary blips and it isn't getting any rosier.

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Response to rpannier (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 11:41 AM

8. yeah, so what was up with those senate races? Is that Hillary's fault?

 

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Response to rpannier (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 12:45 PM

11. Ah, but the pounding was not from the GOP alone.

Some who call themselves progressive bailed too...and must live with what they have done...all those who will be hurt. I am certainly glad that is not on my conscience.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 07:20 PM

12. Yep - it seems there was a lot of so-called progressives who

cut off their nose to spite their face. They will rue that day (if not already).

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Response to jonno99 (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 11:59 AM

9. No coat tails for Democrats in Congress and state houses

Democrats usually do better in Presidential election years, but there have been no coat tails for Democrats from the Presidential candidate since 2008. To have coat tails requires a substantial victory, which of course hasn't happened since 2008. Off year elections tend to favor the party out of power, but they really have favored the GOP lately, so we'll have to see about 2018.

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Response to jonno99 (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 12:44 PM

10. It is not uncommon for the party holding the presidency to lose the House during the midterms.

Thus, I do not think this article is meaningful...I do believe that until progressive voters choose Democrats in all elections the GOP will win....this election was winnable if we all stuck together ...and the damage will be permanent. Look at how the potential demise of the ACA will affect 40 million people...some will die...and those who believed that the demise of the ACA would lead to single payer... should now consider that it will lead to nothing. Had we elected an imperfect candidate (not as liberal as us perhaps or maybe just attacked constantly for 30 years), the ACA would not be endangered...nor would medicare and social security...also the finance legislation is endangered. LGBTQ rights immigration reform (compassionate) are also endangered and of course consider the courts...poised to help the GOP attain a permanent majority or dictatorship. This was not the year for a protest vote...sad but the progressive movement was brought down from within...and still we argue over who she be the next DNC head...Is he in Bernie's camp or not. We should be choosing someone who can win and in the states particularly. This bickering is akin to arranging deck chairs on the titanic. Nothing matter unless we win.

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