APP Press - Elections

Frank Cannon: Midterms Exposed Democrats’ Big Weakness

November 7, 2018

APP president Frank Cannon and communications director Paul Dupont write in an op-ed for The Hill:

Another midterm election has come and gone, with no shortage of intriguing storylines. For opponents of President Trump, the much-touted “blue wave” did come to pass – sort of – with Democrats gaining a slight majority in the House that they likely will use to impair the current administration as much as possible. Yet, Democrats lost seats in the Senate, boosting Republicans’ hopes of holding that chamber in 2020 and allowing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to continue to fill the judiciary with Trump nominees.

While these surface-level developments are likely to be the focus of most post-election analyses, this year’s midterms also exposed deeper, less visible trends which could have massive implications for 2020 and beyond.

One such development was noted by Politico in a story last week. In reviewing a number of primary victories this year by insurgent Democratic candidates, the report carefully sketches a growing divide in the Democratic Party between its mostly wealthy and white progressive activist wing — which has supported candidates like Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — and its primarily blue-collar and minority base, which generally backs the party’s more establishment candidates such as Rep. Joe Crowley, who Ocasio-Cortez defeated in a party primary.

The divide is further described using the image of an hourglass, with elite party members occupying the top and the working-class base on the bottom.

This divide is not new to the party, nor is it exclusively a Democrat phenomenon. Indeed, the Republican Party has its own version of this hourglass divide, one made especially visible during the GOP’s contentious 2016 presidential primary.


Read the full op-ed here.


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