Over the weekend, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Mark Sommerhauser observed the Democrats’ strong performance in recent elections around the country, and looked at how it might translate into Wisconsin’s electoral situation for 2018. The article featured a lot of spin from both parties, but even Republicans seemed to acknowledge that due to the anchor of Donald Trump as a president and other reflections of voters’ moods, it’s going to be a tougher lift for them than in recent years to stay in power after next year.
Despite the improving situation for Dems, I read this paragraph in Sommerhauser’s article and found myself rolling my eyes.
Sachin Chheda, a Wisconsin Democratic consultant, said opportunities for Democratic pickups in 2018 can be found in the Milwaukee suburbs — long the state’s Republican stronghold. In races Tuesday and throughout 2017, Democrats made gains in suburban districts in large metro areas.That sounds nice, Sach, but my thought is that if those people can’t figure out by now that what GOPs are doing is failed BS that’s shortchanging their communities (especially in quality public education which drove them to live in the burbs in the first place), then they’ll never get it. Why would you waste your time trying to convince a highly-educated group of people that already have a higher awareness of events?
And anyway, what happened on the Coasts last week really doesn’t apply all that much to most of Wisconsin. Assembly Speaker/ gerrymandering mastermind Robbin’ Vos notes in Sommerhauser’s article that he and the off-site Michael Best lawyers that drew the districts did so to avoid the vulnerabilities that hit Virginia Republicans.
In the Virginia legislative elections last week, Vos said many of the Democrats that defeated GOP incumbents ran in districts that voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.So sure, disgust with Trumpism and other GOP hate/idiocy may give some damage to the hopes of GOPs in statewide races for Scott Walker and whatever amoral puppet ends up running for US Senate. But it’s not going to go that far if Dems want to take back the Assembly or Senate next year, especially if they copy Clinton’s and the Dem Party’s top-down mentality in 2016.
In Wisconsin, just three state Assembly Republicans hold seats that were carried by Clinton: Reps. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield, who’s running for state Senate next year, Jim Ott of Mequon and Todd Novak of Dodgeville.
None of the Republican-held state Senate seats that will be on the ballot in 2018 was carried by Clinton.
Seems to me that it would be more worthwhile to show casual voters in every corner of the state just how badly they are being shortchanged by the Fitzwalkerstanis and Wall Streeters that make up much of Trump’s cabinet. Pretty much everywhere in Wisconsin outside of Madison continues to fall behind the rest of the country, and Dems should point this out continually, and remind voters that they are the only party that cares about making this situation better.
This difference between the thinking of DNC/DPW insiders and everyday voters’ desire for real change was illustrated well in this Saturday Night Live skit from the weekend. Note that ALL of the Dems imitated in the skit are from the East or West Coasts, and almost all are 70+. Extra props for the drop-ins by Jason Sudekis (as Joe Biden) and Larry David (as Bernie Sanders).
Perhaps the desire for new faces and new approaches (or what APPEARS to be new faces and approaches) among voters is what the campaign of firefighters’ union president Mahlon Mitchell senses, as he officially jumped into the Dem race for governor today.
I will say this, if Mitchell and any other Dem wants to be successful in 2018, he should ignore connected insiders like Sachin Chheda and Brandon “the Fox-con is something Dems should support” Savage, and instead work on a unifying message that connects to Wisconsinites of all backgrounds, and all communities. Dividing up the electorate by using cynical centrism isn’t something that works in a state like Wisconsin. And anyway, there isn't enough population and legislative seats in the burbs and big cities for Dems to rely solely on those commmunities to gain power.
The statewide Dem theme should be obvious: “Walkerism and Trumpsim isn’t bringing back good jobs and good wages, its corruption leaves everyone out except for a few cronies, and it’s making this an angrier, more divided state/country. That isn’t what Wisconsinites believe in, and it’s time we restore decency, intelligence and competence to OUR government.”
Look at who is being left behind. Meet with them.
C’mon DNC/DPW, just listen to people for 5 minutes and this is obvious. All you have to do is operate from the simple understanding that ALL VOTERS DECIDE ELECTIONS, and not party hacks, and 2018 is yours for the taking.