Thursday, July 6, 2017

Democrats Close Margins, But Lose Four in a Row

The national generic ballot test shows that Democrats have an eight-point advantage. And in four congressional races to replace Republican congresspersons who joined the Trump administration, Democrats managed to improve their margins from last November’s election by ten points in the replacement election (62% to 52%).

But still no win. Hence, no bragging rights or momentum. And, continued doubt that Donald Trump’s low approval rating will translate into gaining the 24 House seats the Democrats need to put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s Chair.

One clear message from each of the four races is the vulnerability of the Washington D.C. Democratic establishment. Nancy Pelosi, in particular, is the target of Republican campaign consultants who describe Democratic candidates as a vote for Pelosi.

After the Georgia race, there were calls for her to resign. She refused. Pelosi has been a Democratic liability since she lost her majority in 2010, but she is the master of her caucus. She understands Democratic identity politics, its narrow issue agendas, and the special interests and eccentric billionaire fundraising sources. But, caucus politics does not translate well to swing congressional districts.

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