Read a New York Times story on how the Democrats are analyzing why they lost so many 2020 downballot races.
Well, we got the big prize, the most important prize, the one which–if we had to pick only one, we would pick. We elected Joe Biden and ushered Trump out of the Oval Office. That was great, and you helped make it happen.
But… the Democrats lost a mess of 2020 downballot races that we thought we would win. Races that Democrats reasonably thought they would win.
Of the 12 races (ultimately 14) included in the Crooked Media Get Mitch or Die Trying Fund, the Dems won four, and two of those were Georgia races that went to January 2021 runoffs. Of the Tier 1 “Don’t Fuck It Up” candidates, the ones considered most likely to succeed, two of the three triumphed: John Hickenlooper won in Colorado, and Mark Kelly won in Arizona.
Neither of the Tier 2 candidates (“Come Back Kids”) triumphed.
Two of the three Tier 3 (…So…Close) candidates made it, but those two were Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who benefitted from a runoff that received a full-court press of attention from vigilant Democrats across the United States.
None of the five Tier Four (“Long Shot”) candidates won. [Mike Espy, a Mississippi candidate for Senate, was a later addition to the lineup.]
Worse still, Democrats lost more than a dozen seats in the House of Representatives, and most of the losses were among incumbents who were first elected in the blue wave of the 2018 midterms.
We at OTYCD were, by turns, baffled and pissed off by the 2020 downballot outcome, but recognized that the reasons behind the losses wouldn’t be clear right away, and needed study.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly accounts for some of it. It created a rare instance in which doing the responsible thing–cancelling events and avoiding campaign techniques that require close contact with strangers–put Democrats at a disadvantage. The GOP largely embraced the stance of the then-president in treating the virus as if it didn’t exist, and campaigned like it was 2016. The Dems learned from that experience and found ways to canvass and hold events safely. But COVID-19 can’t explain all of the losses.
A February 20, 2021 story in the New York Times doesn’t provide “A-ha!” answers, but it gives an update on how far the Democratic party has gotten with finding those answers.
Titled Democrats Beat Trump in 2020. Now They’re Asking: What Went Wrong? covers how party leaders, pollsters, and other experts have recognized that what happened to the downballot races was a big problem that requires some dedicated research. They are, in other words, attempting a so-called “autopsy” of 2020, even though their presidential candidate won decisively.
See the New York Times story here:
The story is paywalled, but we’ll offer a few takeaways:
The Democratic Party is not happy with its overall 2020 election performance and recognizes the importance of figuring out what the heck actually happened and allowing that information to shape their strategy for 2022.
The Democratic party 2020 election autopsy is being led by four groups: Third Way, Collective PAC, End Citizens United, and The Latino Victory Fund. We will include websites and social media handles for all four at the tail of this story.
Republican party leaders are not pursuing their own 2020 autopsy, “citing the general lack of appetite among G.O.P. leaders for grappling openly with Mr. Trump’s impact on the party and the wreckage he inflicted in key regions of the country,” according to the article. If you want to view that cynically, the Republican failure to examine its own 2020 mistakes could give Democrats an advantage, provided they sift out good information about why they lost downballot races, and are able to act on that information effectively in 2022.
Related, more narrow assessment projects are ongoing:
“Democratic and Republican officials alike found serious shortcomings in their survey research, especially polling in House races that failed to anticipate how close Republicans would come to retaking the majority. Both parties emerged from the campaign feeling that they had significantly misjudged the landscape of competitive House races, with Democrats losing seats unexpectedly and Republicans perhaps having missed a chance to capture the chamber as a result.
The chief Republican and Democratic super PACs focused on House races — the Congressional Leadership Fund and House Majority PAC — are both in the process of studying their 2020 polling and debating changes for the 2022 campaign, people familiar with their efforts said…
Several of the largest Democratic polling companies are also conferring regularly with each other in an effort to address gaps in the 2020 research. Two people involved in the conversations said there was general agreement that the industry had to update its practices before 2022 to assure Democratic leaders that they would not be caught by surprise again.”
2022 will be the first election cycle in a long time that won’t be dominated by an outsize personality such as an Obama or a Trump.
Again, the link to the full NYT story:
Websites and social media information for the four entities that are leading the Democratic Party 2020 examination. Monitor them for news of progress on the investigation.
Third Way is a political think tank. See its main website:
See its About page:
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Follow Third Way on Twitter:
The Collective PAC is a political action committee (hence the PAC). See its main website:
See its About page:
Donate to The Collective PAC via ActBlue:
Like The Collective PAC on Facebook:
Follow The Collective Pac on Twitter:
End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC).
See its main website:
See the End Citizens United “About” page:
Donate to End Citizens United through ActBlue:
Like End Citizens United on Facebook:
Follow End Citizens United on Twitter:
The Latino Victory Fund is a progressive organization devoted to fostering Latino representation in government. See its home page: https://latinovictory.us
See its About page:
Donate to the Latino Victory Fund through ActBlue:
Like the Latino Victory Fund on Facebook:
Follow the Latino Victory Fund on Twitter:
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