The Democratic Party is clearly looking anywhere and everywhere to find an election victory to point to… And things are looking desperate.
To recap the last few months: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost in an historic upset to political newcomer Donald Trump. The GOP retained their House majority and (surprisingly) held their Senate majority. The Democratic Party lost even more gubernatorial seats and state legislative chambers. Following the transition into the new Trump administration, Democrats went on to lose four-out-of-four special congressional races.
Maybe Trump was right — we’d eventually get tired of winning.
Democrats, on the other hand, are hopelessly scrambling for good news. They may have finally found that good news — not at the national level, nor the state, nor the congressional.
Liberal pundits are in utter glee over a recent string of state legislative victories.
In special elections last week, Democrats captured two state House seats in New Hampshire and Oklahoma. This puts their state House and Senate takeovers this year to a grand total of six seats. Six seats!
CNN’s Chris Cillizza proudly reported on the news, replete with a picture of the United States — as if these local elections had national implications. Huffpost suggested the outcomes could be a sign of a wave building. Daily Kos’ jubilation over the recent elections is almost sad to look at.
Why is it premature for the the Democratic Party to get excited over six state legislative seats?
The number just seems a tad minuscule when you consider that, over the course of Obama’s eight years in office, Democrats lost a grand total of 958 state legislative seats.
Does that not make six appear quite trivial?
Actually, forget about local seats for a second.
During that eight year period, Democratic gubernatorial seats dropped from 28 to 16, the Democratic Senate majority dropped from 55 to 46 and their House majority vanished from 256 seats to 194. Their chosen successor to Obama lost to perhaps the most beatable candidate in a century — ceding control of the White House to the GOP.
Believing momentum was finally behind them, national Democrats invested heavily in several special House races following the November election. They lost all four of those, too.
But Democrats really want you to focus on those six state legislative wins.