Tags: obama | weaker | democrats | 2016

National Journal: Obama Has Severely Weakened Democrats

Image: National Journal: Obama Has Severely Weakened Democrats
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By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 11:33 AM


The Democratic Party has so severely weakened under the tenure of President Barack Obama that it is relying on former losing candidates to take them through the 2016 election cycle, according to the National Journal.

In recent years the number of Democratic officeholders in the House and statewide offices has so consistently declined that the party's chances in next year's Senate races are in peril despite seeing success on the presidential level.

"It's awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016," the Journal said.

Wisconsin's Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania's Joe Sestak, Indiana's Baron Hill, and Ohio's Ted Strickland all lost office in 2010 but will be looking to run again in 2016, while party officials are also hoping to draft former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan to retake her seat.
"All told, more than half of the Democrats' Senate challengers in 2016 are comeback candidates," the Journal said.

An analysis by Real Clear Politics supports the idea that Democrats have seen a decline in their fortunes, calculating that their position across state and federal seats is at its lowest since 1928.

The Journal said that most of these former officeholders offer the best choices available. Feingold and Strickland are each polling better than their likely GOP rivals while Hill and Hagan have in the past demonstrated some crossover appeal.

"Senate Democrats are relying on these repeat candidates for the exact same reason that Democrats are comfortable with anointing Hillary Clinton for their presidential nomination: There aren't any better alternatives," the Journal said.

"This isn't an assessment of Democratic chances for a Senate majority in 2017; it's a glaring warning for the party's longer-term health. If Clinton can't extend the Democrats' presidential winning streak—a fundamental challenge, regardless of the political environment—the party's barren bench will cause even more alarm for the next presidential campaign."

The Democrats have focused on changing national demographics as a reason for optimism but the Journal said that unless future leaders put forth a compelling liberal message, there is no guarantee that trends will move to their favor.

"The irony of the 2016 Senate races is that Democrats are betting on the past, running veteran politicians to win them back the majority—with Clinton at the top of the ticket. If that formula doesn't work, the rebuilding process will be long and arduous," the Journal said.

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The Democratic Party has so severely weakened under the tenure of President Barack Obama that it is relying on former losing candidates to take them through the 2016 election cycle, according to the National Journal. In recent years the number of Democratic officeholders in...
obama, weaker, democrats, 2016
415
2015-33-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 11:33 AM
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