Monday, February 18, 2019

2, 3, Many Blue Waves....

Paul Rosenberg has an excellent article on Salon arguing that one blue wave is just not enough for where the Democrats need to go. He's right!
The article includes an interesting discussion of double-wave elections (two wave elections in a row for a party) in American history--when they occurred and how sticky their results were. One thing Rosenberg is very focused on is the necessity for Democrats to concentrate on more than just beating Trump in 2020. There'll be a lot more going on than just the Presidential contest in 2020, as important as that's going to be. The Democrats really, really need, besides a Presidential victory, many more victories in the House, the Senate and, last but not least, governors and state legislatures. In short, another wave.
Can it be done in 2020? The article quotes political scientist Gary Jacobson on the challenges of doing this but, at the same time, the tremendous opportunity the Democrats will have if Trump is at the top of the ticket--which of course seems very likely at the present time.
This opportunity may apply, interestingly, all the way down to the state legislative level.
"State legislative races often get ignored but are critically important, largely because of the congressional redistricting process that will follow the 2020 census. For insight into that, I turned to Steve Rogers of St. Louis University, author of the forthcoming book, "Accountability in American Legislatures.”
“I think the easiest parallel to draw for 2020 is 2010,” Rogers said. “In 2010, Republican state legislative candidates benefited greatly from voters being upset with Democrats at the national level,” and that wasn’t a one-off accident. “My research generally shows that national political conditions are one of the strongest determinants of state legislative election outcomes,” he said. Republicans' big legislative victories in 2010 “allowed them to build somewhat of a redistricting firewall that benefited them throughout the decade,” and even limited Democratic gains in 2018. Now he anticipates something of a reversal.
“Overall, voters are largely unaware of who their state legislators are, let alone what they do from day to day," Rogers said. "So voters often end up relying on views of national politics or their partisanship when making their decisions in state legislative elections.” He's wary of how much difference organizations can make, but says it's critical that “voters have candidates to vote for," meaning that Democratic candidates actually run for office. Democrats did well in this regard in 2018, he noted. “This is something Republican-leaning organizations have a better track record doing, so this is one strategy that progressive groups should likely take up again,” he said."
Amen to that.
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SALON.COM
Beating Donald Trump might not be Democrats' biggest task in 2020: A second blue wave could reshape history

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