On Tuesday night, Democrats picked up where Hillary left off in 2016, but unlike her they delivered a win for gubernatorial candidates in both New Jersey and Virginia. After watching Republicans run the map in 2016 and gain control of not only the White House, but also the House and the Senate, the Democrats needed this win for their morale.
Democrats hail Tuesday’s victory as a referendum on the Trump presidency and the so-called Trump Effect. Maybe so, but Dems may want to keep in mind, campaigning against Trump in the next cycle is not enough. Democrats are still weak on affirmative message and will need to spend this time connecting with voters and updating their playbook if they want to have a shot in 2018.
On the other side of the aisle, Tuesday’s loss served as a wake up call to Republicans and suggested that Democrats have a good shot at taking back the House in 2018. Should Republicans lose control of the House, it would be the fourth consecutive president to enter the White House with his party in control of Congress and then lose Congress during his tenure.
Some people blame Trump for causing strife within the party; others point to Republicans over promising and under delivering. Case in point: For (seven) years, Republicans promised to repeal Obamacare, and even with a super majority in Congress, they failed to deliver. It is no surprise the Republican party is having difficulty maintaining enthusiasm among its base.
If Republicans want to have a chance of winning in 2018, they’re going to need to roll up their sleeves, reach across the aisle, and pass some bills. The name of the game is bipartisanship.
For Democrats, the road to victory in 2018 will be paved with a new playbook, without recycling candidates (I’m looking at you Hillary Clinton), and stronger candidate platforms. Since the recruitment of Barack Obama, the Democrats have struggled with finding candidates with as much charisma and the ability to raise money with the greatest of ease.
With roughly a year to go until the midterm elections, it is safe to say, both parties have their work cut out for them. Democrats will have to try out some new material, and Republicans need to get to work like they promised in 2014 and 2016. Otherwise, voters can expect more of the same in the next cycle and will be forced to choose again between the lesser of two evils. Here’s hoping both parties get it together. After all, America is counting on them.