This past week, after spending $30 million, Democrats lost their fourth special election since Donald Trump became president. So convinced are Democrats that the president is toxic, they failed to realize that in many parts of the country they are toxic.
For perspective, in November last year, the Democrat challenger to Congressman Tom Price received 38.3 percent of the popular vote in the sixth congressional district of Georgia. Jon Ossoff only improved that by 10 percent with $30 million. Democrats may say the race should not have been that close, but the reality is spending that much money to drive out 100 percent of Democrats plus some anti-Trump Republicans cost them $30 million they now cannot spend elsewhere. And they still lost. Any reasonable person should have been able to look objectively at the data and see that district was a Republican district.
Not only did the Democrats waste all that money, but they did so with a candidate who did not live in the district and who campaigned like a moderate Republican. He did not run on the so-called "living wage" or on universal healthcare for all or even impeaching the president. He ran sounding like a corporate CEO. He wanted to inspire technology investment, work across the aisle, and find bipartisan solutions. He would not even take a position on voting for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. But the GOP still successful tied Ossoff to Pelosi. While polling showed President Trump is not necessarily liked in that district, Pelosi is downright despised. Much of the left, however, believes Ossoff's loss means the party should go aggressively leftwing.
Therein lies a real problem for Democrats. They can be assured of some success next year by virtue of history. The party that does not control the White House typically does well in off-year elections. In South Carolina's fifth congressional district, which held a special election the same day as Georgia's, the Democrat came within a few percent of beating the Republican in a district President Trump won by 60 percent. Under the radar, Democrats are engaged. But the moment they appear on radar, Republicans engage too.
Democrats have spun stories that are not working to draw voters to them. With more and more evidence the president did not collaborate with Russians to steal the election, Democrats are more and more convinced he did. Instead of talking about job creation or healthcare reform, they want everyone to believe the president is a traitor.
When Democrats do talk issues, they spend more time fixated on letting men use the women's bathroom and forcing Christians to provide goods and services to gay weddings than they do anything that really helps most people. They have abandoned skepticism of unlimited immigration and now call anyone who disagrees a bigot. In fact, anyone who does not support Democrats is considered a racist, bigot, homophobe, or misogynist. Instead of trying to solve the nation's problems, the Democrats seem very busy trying to drive people with whom they have disagreements from the town square.
While there are many people who believe Democrats need to run for something, the Republican's 2010 campaign suggests Democrats can run against something. They can run against the President's agenda, or for stopping his agenda. But Democrats are not doing that. They are trying to nationalize the 2018 election season by making it about impeaching President Trump. All that is doing is firing up Republicans, even some who may not necessarily care for the president. Every time a Democrat suggests the president should be impeached, Republican voters rally to the President.
On the other hand, Republicans can nationalize 2018 against the Democrats pretty effectively at this point. The violence generated by leftwing activists is enough to turn off swing voters. From a mass assassination attempt in Washington by a Bernie Sanders supporter to leftwing activists burning down small businesses, rioting, blocking conservatives from college campuses, and persecuting Christian small businessmen, the GOP has a plausible argument that emboldening the Democrats will just cause more violence. The Democrats' unyielding anger could be what keeps them motivated for a year, but could also be what causes their defeat in 2018.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.