Last week, a series of articles help explain the obstacles Democrats face returning to power. A piece by Aaron Blake of the Washington Post described the problems Democrats face in the 2018 elections. Donald Trump won 30 states and 230 Congressional districts compared to 205 for Clinton. To take either the House or Senate Democrats will need to win areas that just rejected them in November.
At the same time, an analysis by one Congressman seems to conclude that the party should shift its efforts away from rural district and more toward suburban ones. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney says, “[T]he three biggest predictors of the partisan bent of a House district are the percentage of it that is rural, how much of its population has received college degrees and how diverse it is.” There’s certainly some truth in that statement, but the biggest single factor in any election is the political environment.
In another piece, progressive Democrats protested a moderate group’s role at a DCCC retreat. Activists criticized Third Way for “their role in the destruction of the Democratic Party” and said they deserved no seat at the table. As the article points out, the two factions have been feuding within the party as long as it’s been around.
Democrats have a long way to go before they’re back in power. To get there, they need to compete in as many districts as possible instead to determining which ones to write off. In addition, they’ll need candidates who can win in some pretty conservative places. So instead of seeking orthodoxy, they should be building a bigger tent and challenging Republicans everywhere.