As we prepare to greet the New Year tomorrow morning, everyone is reflecting on the year that has been and preparing for the year to come. Most of us set career paths, fitness plans, or personal goals we hope to achieve over the next twelve months. Democrats are thinking only about the next eleven. The sum total of their 2018 ambitions is to take the House from Republicans and topple Donald Trump’s agenda. Based on interviews with leading Democrats this week, they believe it is already an accomplished feat.
Democrats are more enthusiastic than any point since October, 2016, and they are confident they will crush the midterms. Of course, these are the same Democrats who said that Hillary Clinton had an 80% chance of capturing the presidency, and that Democrats would win the Senate in 2016. The calculus is not fundamentally different going into 2018. Yes, Donald Trump is still unpopular, but Democrats are still in disarray as well. Democrats also support policies out of touch with the American electorate, including open borders, higher taxes, and more regulation over healthcare.
Democrats tried the “Republicans are evil” strategy in 2016, and it failed. In their electoral autopsy they even acknowledged that they have got to do better with middle class Americans in rural and suburban areas that do not share their secular progressive political philosophy. As such, they should follow their own advice and end their strategy of obstruction in 2018.
Democrats are unlikely to win Congress in 2018. They have to defend ten senate seats in states that are Republican favorable and that President Trump carried in 2016. Even if they retain all ten seats, an unlikely feat, they would have to pick-up two more seats to win the majority. After tax reform, their likelihood of winning the House is substantially diminished. The House Republican majority is well entrenched and will not be dislodged solely by a Democratic strategy of obstruction, demonizing, and demands.
As we prepare to say Happy New Year, Democrats should probably keep the champagne corked with regard to campaigns.