A couple of quick points about the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the supposed rout of Democrats in the recent elections:
- Democrats did have some important victories, such as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Elections. In local races, left-leaning candidates often did better than centrist candidates.
- We should have learned this by now, but it bears repeating: off-year elections have different electorates than than those that align with congressional elections, and all the more so when compared to presidential years. Which brings us to…
- 2016 is not a problem. 2017, 2018, and 2019 are. The Democratic Party, since abandoning the fifty state strategy, has been incapable of doing well in off-year elections. When seventy percent of the eligible electorate doesn’t vote, you can’t blame that on things like Democratic voters are disproportionately lower-income and have difficultly getting to the polls. The Washington Democratic establishment just doesn’t seem to care about state parties, and it’s showing in the turnout.
- Related to #3, it’s pretty clear than the informal channels of voter mobilization are very weak for Democrats compared to those of Republicans. I’m not sure how we build new channels–and the internet is only a small piece of this–but we better figure out how to do this.
Typo in title fixed