5 Big Lessons from Election Day 2017′s Democratic Sweep

The 2017 Election is now almost completely behind us, and it is clear that it was a major night of victories for progressives across the United States. The Democratic Party now has massive momentum heading into the 2018 midterms, and unless the GOP figures out how to deal with the Presidential drag at the top of the ticket, their party could be in real danger come next November.

The left learned a lot from election night, and these are all lessons they will need to draw on in order to turn the midterms into a similar sweep and wrench Congressional control away from the GOP. If Democrats replicate these moves over the next year, we could very well see the Senate – maybe even the House – flip in 2018.

1) Make every Republican specifically state whether they embrace or reject President Donald Trump.

Virginia’s governor’s race proved how toxic he is to his own party, with a majority of voters who cast ballots stating they disapprove of the President’s agenda. Republican candidate Ed Gillespie tried to have it both ways – not specifically embracing the man in the White House, but still cashing in on his campaign themes of anti-immigrant, anti-diversity, anti-civil rights and anti-healthcare rhetoric. Voters solidly rejected him. If every candidate in 2018 has the President and his agenda riding on their back, similar results should occur.

2) Run diverse candidates.

The U.S. deserves a government that represents all of the people, not just a portion of them. Voters crave candidates with a variety of backgrounds and experiences and will show up for them at the polls. On election night we saw massive wins by non-white cis het male candidates, especially trans women and men, and men and women of color. These politically underrepresented communities show up in droves to support Democratic candidates and give them victories – it’s time to focus more on them and less on winning the straight male vote.

3) Challenge every seat.

Virginia could possibly have the first Democratic House in decades depending on how a few final seats are called, but even if they do not, they reversed most of a 17 seat deficit this year, all by running a candidate in nearly every race. They ran 45 campaigns against incumbent Republicans, double what they usually ran, leaving virtually no politician unopposed. And they won. A lot. They proved that any race could potentially be winnable and all should be contested.

4) Stick with Obamacare

If there was any doubt that Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot with their obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, you only need to turn to Maine, where voters showed up in far higher than normal numbers in order to vote in favor of expanding Medicaid in the state – overruling a governor who so far refused to let expansion go through. Democrats must get every GOP challenger on the record about whether or not they want Obamacare dismantled. This crucial question could very well win them Congress next year.

5) Reject anti-abortion big tentism.

The Virginia Democratic primary got heated as a number of national figures jumped in to support former Congressman Tom Perriello despite his record of voting against abortion rights. The argument? Northam wouldn’t play as well to rural Virginia voters, and that the party needed a bigger tent to accommodate pro-life Democrats, saying races couldn’t be won without them. But Virginian Democrats rejected that claim and picked Northam as their candidate, and Northam ran on a platform of allowing all people the ability to make their own reproductive decisions – and he won. The lesson? Democrats win when they embrace all of the planks of the party platform, and there is no need to oust reproductive rights in order to obtain a victory.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

67 comments

ERIKA S
ERIKA S3 days ago

noted

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Regus Slantei
Regus Slantei4 days ago

Why Brian, you called me a "moron". That is high-praise indeed coming as it does from the Kremlin and its political stooges here in the west.

If the malignant likes of you is calling me names, I KNOW that I'm on the correct track. Thanks for your support.

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S5 days ago

noted

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Brian F
Brian F5 days ago

Tom Perez the corrupt Obama installed crook in charge of the DNC, fires all the honest progressives, so the Democrats can continue their corruption, and make millions from Wall Street and corporations, and this moron, Regus defends them. The DNC rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders, and the Democrats have a horribly unfair super delegate rule, that gives the incumbent over 400 super delegates. It's clear the Democrats will never allow honest progressives like Bernie Sanders to have any power, so they can continue their corruption. By defending the corrupt Democratic party, Regus demonstrates his breathtaking ignorance.

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Ellie M
Ellie M7 days ago

ty

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s7 days ago

A very positive step.

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Regus Slantei
Regus Slantei7 days ago

I am joyous once again, David F., at another one of your defective posts: "the rest of the country rejected NJ".

Not hardly, not by over 3 million votes!

David, once again, showcases [R] UN-exceptionalism, right on cue. It is hilarious!

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Winn A
Winn A7 days ago

All good points particularly #1.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees7 days ago

@Debbi Wood "We can't take any election for granted. We need to demand transparency and an End to Citizens United and gerrymandering. Seems the R's can't play fair."

Nor do Democrats, neither want to let 3rd parties compete. And the problems did not start with Citizens United. Be careful what you wish for, if the 1st amendment is modified as Hillary wanted to do that could be very bad for free speech. I say let anyone contribute as much as they want, just make it transparent so we know who is bought by whom.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees7 days ago

@Deborah W "BEEN A LONG TIME .... challenge equality in word AND action. ALL those in it, from top to bottom, will now have to EARN their place, not through scripted rhetoric, but words put into action. Should be an interesting future ... in the hands of voters who take seriously their job of hiring."

Agreed, let's hope enough voters start waking up and start paying attention instead of just voting for the lesser evil from the 2 party Oligarchy. Remember just flipping back to Democrat side will not fix anything. Obama did nothing to bring real progress. Most voters don't even know what we need to achieve progress. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to our future.

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