Since the historic election of President Donald Trump, the DNC has been reacting and opposing without putting forward concrete plans to actually win back either House. In fact, sources suggest that their entire campaign for 2018 and 2020 might just be “We’re not Donald Trump.” Which makes a good bumper sticker, but has failed to impress worried donors and even candidates.
The undoubtedly close race between Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie will come to a head on November 7th and will likely determine the future of current DNC leader Tom Perez. Amid shaky support and falling contributions, the cash-strapped party has thrown it all in on one roll of a die and said: “Wait until Virginia.”
It is a political Hail Mary, that if it succeeds will buy the belabored DNC leader more time to rally his support. However, if it fails, will almost certainly see the end of Perez.
Many leading Democrats are concerned that not only would a loss paint the party as “rudderless,” but would also put the dampeners on State Governor Terry McAuliffe’s possible presidential run in 2020. Since Trump took office, the Democrats have failed to win any major races. With their approval ratings in the House and Senate only just higher than the Republican’s (both groups support levels are below that of President Trump), they do not have many opportunities to gain back control of either chamber.
“It would be a blow to both Perez and McAuliffe if we did not win,” said Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic Party chair.
“We need a win,” said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis. “If we lose, there will be a lot of concern that the Democratic Party is rudderless in the sea of chaos that is the Trump presidency.”
Adding further fears to an already edgy DNC is the fact that the Republican party seems to have finally gotten on board with the President and is beginning to back his agenda. Pundits are suggesting that the GOP now realizes that self-preservation involves getting behind one of the most divisive, yet popular, presidents the nation has ever seen.
New York Times Columnist, David Brook said: “What Flake (not running for re-election) made clear is that you can’t survive a Republican primary if you don’t sound like Donald Trump. And whether with Flake leaving, Corker leaving, McCain sort of in the end — toward the end of his career, the Republicans who want to have a political viability have to be Trumpian.”
So with more “Trumpian” candidates being supported, what is the future for the DNC if/when they lose Virginia?
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.