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Democrats Could Win Big in 2018 – if They Don’t Blow It First

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By Paul Booth, former executive assistant to AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders Explore the Issues Politics and Elections
Democrats Could Win Big in 2018 – if They Don’t Blow It First
Paul Booth

Democrats have one big chance for a comeback, in 2018. There’s a path to a win – a narrow one – but they could blow it. …

A GOP win in 2018 comparable to 2010 and 2014 could be irreversible. That’s their intention—they’re using the power they’ve gained strategically, in order to not have to relinquish it. Democracy, and the movements that breathe life into it, are in peril. …

The Republicans govern today without a popular majority because they had and held Congress, but Democrats can’t push them out with less than a majority. Ours is a two-party system; in the contest for the nation’s fundamental direction, third parties are irrelevant. David Koch figured that out after getting a million votes on the Libertarian ticket in 1980, and has been spending his vast resources ever since on making the GOP win, and serve his interests. That’s exactly what Democrats need to do.

A narrow majority is insufficient. Narrow wins for president don’t yield majorities in Congress; likewise, the coattails of statewide winners in close races don’t tip legislatures. To win statewide—whether for governor, U.S. Senate, or presidential electors, campaigns tend to follow an efficiency rule: maximize base vote (which for Democrats is highly concentrated geographically), and pursue swing vote selectively.

To take power, to win legislative branch majorities, both state and federal, Democrats have to compete successfully outside their geographic strongholds.

(Excerpted from The American Prospect. To read the entire piece, go here).