Democrats

Democrats to Unveil New Economic Agenda

“Senate and House Dems, after an intensive process spanning seven months, on Monday will unveil a new economic agenda, Axios has exclusively learned, meant to counter the perception that Democrats are only the anti-Trump party, with no message of their own.”

“Top Dems see the new message as the key to turning things around after their losses in the presidential race and this year’s House special elections.”

A memo from pollster Geoff Garin explains the new messaging.

Democrats Still Divided on Their Message

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) hesitated when asked about his party’s core message to voters, the AP reports.

Said Crowley: “That message is being worked on. We’re doing everything we can to simplify it, but at the same time provide the meat behind it as well. So that’s coming together now.”

“The admission from the No. 4 House Democrat — that his party lacks a clear, core message even amid Republican disarray — highlights the Democrats’ dilemma eight months after President Donald Trump and the GOP dominated last fall’s elections, in part, because Democrats lacked a consistent message.”

Democrats Test a New Slogan

“Democratic leaders are zeroing in on a new mantra for their long-promised economic agenda: the ‘Better Deal,'” Politico reports.

“The rebranding attempt comes as Democrats acknowledge that simply running against President Trump wasn’t a winning strategy in 2016 and probably won’t work in 2018 either. The slogan, which is still being polled in battleground House districts, aims to convince voters that Democrats have more to offer than the GOP and the self-proclaimed deal-maker in the White House.”

Glut of Democratic Candidates Divided on Message

Washington Post: “The largest number of Democratic congressional candidates in decades are putting into play dozens of House districts across the country, raising the possibility of a bitterly contested midterm election cycle next year as the party and its activists try to take advantage of President Trump’s unpopularity to win a majority in the House.”

“Yet these candidates and their supporters are also waging a battle among themselves about what the Democratic Party should stand for. After a string of defeats in special elections this year, activists across the country are pitted against Washington-based leaders and strategists about what the message and the tactical plan should be to win the 24 seats needed to take control of the House.”

Do Democrats Have a Message?

Washington Post: “Right now, the one discernible message is opposition to President Trump. That might be enough to get through next year’s midterm elections, though some savvy Democratic elected officials doubt it. What’s needed is a message that attracts voters beyond the blue-state base of the party.”

“History says a president with approval ratings as low as Trump’s usually sustain substantial midterm losses. That could be the case in 2018, particularly if the Republicans end up passing a health-care bill that, right now, is far more unpopular than Obamacare. But Trump has beaten the odds many times in his short political career. What beyond denunciations of the Republicans as heartless will the Democrats have to say to voters?”

Pelosi Faces Growing Doubts

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats “put a brave face on Wednesday morning after a disappointing loss in the Georgia special election, yet there is no disguising the unhappiness in the party ranks,” Politico reports.

“There is no challenge to Pelosi’s leadership, and none is going to happen at this point, said numerous Democrats. But it’s clear frustration is growing with the longtime Democratic leader following the extensive losses Democrats have suffered over the past half-decade.”

“And the fact that Republicans spent millions of dollars on TV ads tying Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff to Pelosi — and the brand of progressive policies she represents — shows that she will once again be an issue for Democratic challengers in the very districts that the party needs to win to make her speaker again.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn’t a party. It’s a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants.”

— A Democratic operative, quoted by Politico.

If Liberals Voted…

David Leonhardt: “If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Hillary Clinton would be president. Even with Donald Trump’s working-class appeal, Clinton could have swept Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.”

“If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Democrats would control the Senate. Clinton or Barack Obama could then have filled the recent Supreme Court vacancy, and that justice would hold the tiebreaking vote on campaign finance, labor unions and other issues.”

“If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, the country would be doing more to address the two defining issues of our time — climate change and stagnant middle-class living standards. Instead, Trump is making both worse.”