Three Reasons for Democrats to Be Optimistic About the Midterms
Democrats in the United States have three reasons to feel optimistic about this year’s congressional elections, argues Ruy Teixeira at his blog, The Optimistic Leftist.
Off-year elections are a good predictor of performance in the midterms, as reported by Daily Kos. Democrats won several special elections in 2017, notably in Alabama and Virginia. That bodes well for 2018.
Republicans don’t have a turnout advantage, at least not with a Republican president, according to Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight. Republican voters are usually more motivated when a Democrat is in the White House.
Donald Trump is hugely unpopular. Nate Cohn writes in The New York Times that the president is far less popular than the state of the economy would suggest — and when presidents are unpopular, their party usually loses. Read more
For the Future of the Democratic Party, Look to California
Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira argue that California’s Democrats are leading the way in developing a progressive vision for the twenty-first century:
The New California Democrats understand that a healthy society needs a strong government that’s well funded, and they don’t shy from raising public funds through progressive taxation. But the New California Democrats appreciate the market and the capabilities of entrepreneurial business. They are tech-savvy and understand the transformative power of new technologies and the vibrancy of an economy built around them. They understand that to solve our many twenty-first-century challenges, we need business to come up with solutions that scale and that grow the economy for all.
If the twentieth-century progressive model was the welfare state, the twenty-first century’s could be what Leyden and Teixeira call the “opportunity state.” Read more
Democrats who are wary of toning down their identity politics can take heart from Tuesday’s election results in Virginia.
Ed Gillespie, formerly a center-right Republican who adopted the race-baiting tactics of Donald Trump, lost to middle-of-the-road — not Bernie Sanders-style populist — Democrat Ralph Northam with 45 to 54 percent support.
Bob Marshall, the author of the state’s failed “bathroom bill”, was defeated by Danica Roem, the first openly transgender state senator elected in American history.
Preliminary analysis suggests Gillespie failed to boost Republican turnout in the sort of left-behind places that threw their support behind Trump in 2016 and lost votes in affluent suburbs that have increasingly leaned Democratic. Read more
Democrats Should Campaign for Dutch-Style Health Reforms
The other day, I explained that the reason Americans can’t get a European-style health-care system is not opposition from insurance companies but the fears of 155 million Americans who currently get health insurance through their employers. They worry that a single-payer system, like Britain’s, would mean higher taxes and lower-quality care.
Such fears — largely unfounded — would undoubtedly be amplified by drug companies, health providers and insurance companies if the Democrats campaigned for “Medicare for all”.
So instead of having an abstract, and probably pointless, debate about which health-care system is superior, why not look at what advocates of single-payer hope to achieve and see if this can’t be done without eliminating private insurance? Read more