Part of a recent poll by ABC News-Washington Post seemed to have bad news for Democrats. This poll joined in the recent refrain that the Democratic Party is rudderless by asking whether it stands for something or is simply the opposition party to Trump. On the surface, the result doesn’t look good.
Only 37% felt Democrats actually have something they believe in. 52% seem to believe Democrats are purely political opportunists aimed at simply opposing Trump. But is this really true – and if so does it matter? Some Democratic leaders seem concerned.
New York’s Rep. Joseph Crowley – one of the highest rank Democrats in the House – seemed to hint at his own concerns during an interview when he said that the Democratic Party’s message was “… being worked on.” As he put it, “We’re doing everything we can to simplify it, but at the same time provide the meat behind it as well. So that’s coming together now.”
The recent losses in special elections across the country – and particularly in Georgia – throws into focus the Democratic Party’s inability to coalesce on a single message. Democrats have always made a habit of infighting. Even worse, right now Democrats don’t have a clear leader. But the simple fact is, this may not matter.
Running as the party of opposition works. In the 2010 and 2014 elections, Republicans won significant victories by hammering home that they were opposed to everything Obama did and said. Democrats tried to run with this by painting the Republicans as the “Party of No” and blatant obstructionists.
While polls showed Americans accepted this characterization of the Republicans by a two to one margin, Republicans nevertheless enjoyed huge electoral victories. Isn’t it safe to assume that the same obstructionism will work for Democrats?