“It’s being destroyed from within.”
— Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), quoted by the Montgomery Advertiser, on the Alabama Democratic Party.
The Daily Kos Special Elections Tracker shows that Democrats are outperforming Hillary Clinton’s margins by an average of 5.5% across 39 federal and state legislative special elections since November 2018. This is roughly the same as the 6.5% spread shown in the generic congressional ballot averages.
Gallup: “Significantly more U.S. adults continued to identify as political independents (42%) in 2018 than as either Democrats (30%) or Republicans (26%). At least four in 10 Americans have been political independents in seven of the past eight years, including a record-high 43% in 2014.”
“Tom Steyer has set plans to spend at least $110 million in 2018, making the billionaire investor the largest single source of campaign cash on the left and placing him on a path to create a parallel party infrastructure with polling, analytics and staffing capabilities that stand to shape and define the issues the party runs on in November,” Politico reports.
“I am absolutely proud to be a Democrat but it also means that the Democratic Party is a big tent and there are so many ways to be a Democrat.”
— Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), interviewed on CNN, about calling herself a Democratic socialist.
“I think my generation needs to get the hell out of politics. Start coaching and start moving up this next generation who are more … fiscally sane. Neither Republicans or Democrats can claim they are fiscally responsible anymore. … This young generation is going to pay for that if we don’t get the hell out of the way and have somebody who is 50 running the country.”
— Howard Dean on MSNBC.
In “The Kübler-Ross Politics of 2017,” Amy Walter of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report sums up where both political parties stand now. Here’s a sample:
The shift in mood among Democrats over the last year has been as dramatic. It’s been a bit like watching someone work through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. Democrats spent much of December of 2016 in a state of disbelief: Did that really happen? How did that happen? By early 2017 they had moved on to anger: Hillary ran a terrible campaign; Democrats had no message; the Obama coalition is unsustainable. By spring there was bargaining: We must not focus our attacks on Trump or his voters. We have to make peace with the white working class electorate who is anxious and angry and desperate for real change. Democratic leaders in Washington tamped down talk of impeachment and focused instead on “A Better Deal.”
Today, however, that reticence is gone. Democratic senators are openly calling for the President to resign over allegations of sexual harassment. Not one red state Democrat supported the GOP tax bill. The fear of Trump and his legions of establishment-hating voters has receded. Democrats are now living off the adrenaline and energy that comes with an awakening of their own base; a base that was disillusioned and dispirited in 2016. Anger is the most powerful GOTV force there is.