When you study politics within the democrat party, it can be a real head scratcher. Different groups and parts of the party can often work with cross purposes or simplynot share data or strategy. Think Progress recently wrote a helpful piece on this very subject and noted some significant changes that powered the 2018 “Blue Wave.” I wrote on my personal blog that the blue wave was the wave that really wasn’t. Progressive candidates in Florida, Texas, Georgia and elsewhere did not fare well. Centrist candidates with strong messages won in a variety of races, even in liberal Vermont where Vermont could have elected the nations first Transgender governor.
However, one thing that can account for the 40 House seats that the democrats picked up is the ability of progressive groups to work together, share data, and keep data. Too often different groups will dump their valuable volunteer and voting data only to be recreated again the next election by another group or candidate. Trump resistance groups did not do that. They stayed in touch with their email lists and mobilized people to vote in valuable districts in Caliafornia and elsewhere in the nation. Rather than use their lists to merely get donations as the DNC or DCCC did, they created a movement. They created content and let their followers know what was going on and most importantly how they could help or donate. Groups like Swing Left answered the question of “Whats Next?” after the huge marches Trump’s election generated. Obama mobilized millions of democrats in 2008 but there was little follow-up. It isnt a wonder that there was little force to help candidates in 2010 and 2014. The Republicans cleaned up in both elections and there was not much resistance to stop them.
Rather than create a progressive movement that was ready to defend progressive values, The DNC gave up huge ground and we are living in the consequences of that choice. The good news, for democrats is this, these resistance groups are not going away and they are going to keep people movilized well into the 2020. The DNC and the DCCC would do well to pay attention, take notes and coordinate broadly with these groups to make sure that democrats can maintain their House Majority and advance in the Senate and White House. This could also be crucial in fixing the enhusiasm gap. If Democrats can use these groups to help voters gather around the nominee, whoever that might be, a win in 2020 could be in sight. Time will only tell.