Democrats

DNC Struggling to Raise Money

“The Democratic National Committee is reeling, facing a turnaround that’s proving a much bigger lift than anyone expected as it struggles to raise enough money to cover its basic promises,” Politico reports.

“Many donors are refusing to write checks. And on-the-ground operatives worry they won’t have the resources to build the infrastructure they need to compete effectively in next year’s midterms and in the run-up to 2020.”

Shakeup at the DNC

“A shakeup is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez,” NBC News reports.

“The ousters come ahead of the DNC’s first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge earlier this year that he would unite the party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary.”

‘The Resistance’ Upends Democratic Politics

New York Times: “It started as a scrappy grass-roots protest movement against President Trump, but now the so-called resistance is attracting six- and seven-figure checks from major liberal donors, posing an insurgent challenge to some of the left’s most venerable institutions — and the Democratic Party itself.”

“The jockeying between groups, donors and operatives for cash and turf is occurring mostly behind the scenes. But it has grown acrimonious at times, with upstarts complaining they are being boxed out by a liberal establishment that they say enables the sort of Democratic timidity that paved the way for the Trump presidency.”

“The tug of war — more than the lingering squabbles between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont — foreshadows a once-in-a-generation reorganization of the American left that could dictate the tactics and ideology of the Democratic Party for years to come.”

Remarkably Fast Liberalization of the Democratic Party

Washington Post: “Democrats have actually shifted more over the past two decades on many key social and philosophical issues, trending relatively quickly toward liberal positions as Republicans have changed more slightly. And the totality of it shows that Democratic voters are actually more polarized than Republicans are.”

“Pew has been running this study for years, and it’s the gold standard when it comes to documenting the nation’s political polarization. This chart, in particular, demonstrates why we can’t all just get along:


“But look closely at that third graph, and you’ll notice that Democrats are actually more clustered toward the far left than Republicans are to the far right. The median Democrat is also closer to the extreme than the median Republican.”

Dan Balz: Shifting attitudes among Democrats have big implications for 2020.

Democrats Spared from Their Own Civil War

Politico: “Democrats have long been terrified that the Sanders-Clinton slugfest of 2016 would set off a prolonged civil war in the party, forcing incumbents to fight off primary challengers from the left in Senate and gubernatorial races. It hasn’t happened. In a surprising reversal of the post-2008 dynamic — when Republicans were shut out of power, then saw a raft of tea party primary challengers take on their incumbents — Democrats have largely been spared of that predicament.”

“Instead, it’s Republican incumbents yet again facing heat from the right, as arch-conservative Roy Moore’s defeat of incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) this week emphatically showed.”

Can the Democrats Rebuild In Time for 2020?

Time: “Every party cast out of power endures a period of soul-searching. But the Democrats’ dilemma was unimaginable even a year ago, when Clinton seemed to be coasting toward the White House and demographic change fueled dreams of a permanent national majority. Now, eight months into the Trump presidency, the party looks to face its toughest odds since Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984.”

“The Democrats are in their deepest congressional rut since the class of 1946 was elected, and hold the fewest governors’ mansions–15–since 1922. Of the 98 partisan legislatures in the U.S., Republicans control 67. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Democrats lost 970 seats in state legislatures, leaving the party’s bench almost bare. The median age of their congressional leadership is 67, and many of the obvious early presidential front runners will be in their 70s by the 2020 election.”

Quote of the Day

“The current model of the Democratic Party obviously is not working. Republicans control the House, the Senate. They control the White House. They control two-thirds of the Governors’ offices throughout this country… What we need to do is reach out to Independents.”

— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in an interview on Meet the Press.

The Empty Shell of America’s Two Party System

Edward Luce: “There was a time when the US had two functioning parties. That is no longer the case. I can now count four. Since Mr Trump has no fixed membership, the tally has risen temporarily to five. In last year’s primaries, the right populist and left populist candidates, Mr Trump and Mr Sanders, took more than half of the votes between them. If that were translated into seats, America’s traditional two parties would be in a minority. The picture would be closer to Emmanuel Macron’s France, where the Gaullists and Socialists are on the sidelines.”

“But American politics is doomed to limp on with the shell of two parties. Their contempt for each other is exceeded only by their antagonisms within. Neither of each party’s warring factions is strong enough to claim the whole. But they have enough clout to stop their rivals from doing so.”

“If Mr Trump were another person, he could orchestrate this chaos to his ends. No president has inherited better conditions to realign US politics. But Mr Trump has the attention span of a goldfish.”

Can Democrats Count on Young Voters?

“Young Americans have been moving left and leaving the G.O.P. in recent years, but a successful Democratic coalition built on the backs of liberal youth is far from a sure thing, especially in the short term,” the New York Times reports.

“The party’s problem is straightforward: getting them to actually go to the polls. Politicians know which part of the electorate still butters their bread — and there’s no avocado on it. Those aged 18 to 29 vote at far lower rates than older groups, decreasing their electoral power. But there are at least some signs that their participation levels will improve. And if an increasingly left-leaning voting bloc does become more politically active, there are huge potential gains for the Democratic Party.”

Trump Upends 150 Years of Two-Party Rule

New York Times: “Although elected as a Republican last year, Mr. Trump has shown in the nearly eight months in office that he is, in many ways, the first independent to hold the presidency since the advent of the current two-party system around the time of the Civil War.”

“In recent weeks, he has quarreled more with fellow Republicans than with the opposition, blasting congressional leaders on Twitter, ousting former party officials in his White House, embracing primary challenges to incumbent lawmakers who defied him and blaming Republican figures for not advancing his policy agenda.”

Democrats Frustrated with Bernie Backers

Politico: “Prominent Democrats are increasingly riled by attacks from Bernie Sanders’ supporters, whose demands for ideological purity are hurting the party ahead of the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election, they say. But it’s not just the outside agitators that Democratic lawmakers, operatives, and activists are annoyed with: They’re tired of what they see as the senator’s hesitance to confront his own backers, either in public or through back channels.”

“Tensions boiled over recently when a handful of Sanders loyalists bashed freshman Sen. Kamala Harris — a rising star in the party and potential 2020 hopeful — as an establishment tool. Democrats were also rankled that other prominent Sanders allies said support for single-payer health care should be a litmus test for candidates.”