The devastating losses sustained by the Democrats in the 2014 elections have practically wiped out the embattled party’s lineup of up-and-coming talent.
The Republican wave has obliterated future Democratic heavyweights who had been expected to quickly rise through the ranks to eventually make their mark on the national political stage, according to Politico.
Calling them "the lost generation" with the emphasis on the word lost, the political news website says that it could take Democratic leadership years to overcome the setback and unveil a new pool of talent.
A slew of female politicians was on the cusp of making a breakthrough when it was brought down to earth with a thump by Republican victories.
They included such seemingly bright lights as Michelle Nunn of Georgia, Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky, who both failed to win Senate seats by wide margins, and even Wendy Davis of Texas, who was trounced in the state’s gubernatorial trace.
Then there was the overwhelming defeat of Anthony Brown in Maryland, the country’s only black state executive, while Mike Michaud lost the gubernatorial race in Maine, preventing him from becoming the first gay candidate elected as governor.
"Any of them could have landed on a vice presidential short list in 2016," wrote Politico’s Alexander Burns. "Instead, all of them lost."
The list went on and on across the board, with Democratic starlets being shot down one by one. And, for the time being at least, they are now just no-name also-rans.
They included attorney general candidates in Nevada and Arizona who could have eventually become governors, as well as aspiring state treasurers in Ohio and Colorado, secretary of state wannabes in Iowa and Kansas, plus countless congressional contenders nationwide, Politico reported.
Arizona Rep.-elect Ruben Gallego, a state legislator, is one of the few standouts to have made the grade while becoming a rare Democratic freshman in the next Congress.
Gallego, a 34-year-old Marine Corps veteran, says the party must ramp up its recruitment and voter drive in it attempts to make a better showing at the 2016 elections.
"The way we rebuild is really by having a deep investment in our local city council races and state races, by really starting to recruit and pipeline strong local candidates," he said. "That’s where your good congressional candidates in the future are going to come from."
Along with Gallego, there are two other new Democratic House members, Florida Rep.-elect Gwen Graham and Massachusetts Rep.-elect Seth Moulton, who could both go on to bigger and better things statewide at least, according to Politico.
Also, two new Democratic governors, Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf and Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo, have the ability to show they have the right stuff to make it on a national level.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley hopes that certain losing candidates like Nunn and Georgia gubernatorial contender Jason Carter will come out fighting in rematches in what he sees as "a more favorable climate in 2016 and 2018."
"People were swept out this year because of the red tide," Buckley told Politico. "I can envision them running again in a few years."
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