Election Fallout is a series which will look at what’s next for the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party, and Republicans following the 2018 general elections.
The Democratic Party as a whole will have a minimum net gain of seven Gubernatorial seats winning races in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Stacy Abrams (Georgia) and Andrew Gillum (Florida) remain in close races that are currently undergoing recounts.
While ten House of Representative races have yet to be called, it looks as if the party will pick up between 32-40 seats. The possibility of keeping the Senate at the same margin remains, despite some questionable tactics in several races by incumbent Democratic senators.
Despite the overwhelming victories at the federal and state level, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12th) immediately claimed, “We will strive for bipartisanship. We believe that we have a responsibility to seek common ground where we can. Where we cannot must stand our ground, but we must try,” during a press conference.
“It’s not about what you have done, it’s about what you can do. And I think I’m the best person to go forward to unify, to negotiate,” Pelosi would also say during her comments to the press, which received a great deal of critique from members of her party.
Pelosi’s comments are peculiar considering Senate candidates Joe Donnelly (IN), Claire McCaskill (MO), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Phil Bredesen (TN) lost by wide margins while running on a Conservative-Liberal platform, rebuking Social Democratic progressive policies which are popular around the nation, especially among the base of the Democratic Party and young voters.
This coincides with Beto O’Rourke who ran as a Social-Liberal; slightly to the right of the Social Democratic ideology, nearly defeating Senator Ted Cruz in Texas. O’Rourke had the best Democratic performance in Texas U.S. Senate elections since Loyd Benson’s 1988 victory. Pelosi’s comments also come at a time when President Donald Trump is unpopular among American citizens, refused to take responsibility for violent rhetoric, and numerous lies concerning asylum seekers currently traveling through Mexico.
John Iadarola of The Young Turks and The Damage Report recently published a video detailing the 2018 election results and why the results are good for the Democratic Party and progressives.
The Democratic Party is currently undergoing a fight for the identity of the party. Progressives want to modernize the party around a platform which fights for middle and working-class Americans, instead of only appealing to voters on an identity level. The Third Way and the current establishment of the party wants to be the party of compromise while appealing to large corporate donors and Liberal-Conservatives in the Republican Party.
The 2020 Democratic Party primaries will see numerous battles between the differing ideologies across tickets around the United States. It’s likely many from both wings of the party will also vie for the Presidential nomination. It would be a smart electoral strategy for the party to select a candidate with a populist message which appeals to the progressive base of the party.