Democrats: Stop Talking about Russia and Nazis. (Oh, and Stop Losing)

Since Obama’s incredible election in 2008, Democrats have lost over 1000 elected seats at the federal and state level. In 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 Democrats saw lower turnout in almost every single county in the United states — 93% of counties to be exact.

This tradition of losing started well before Russia supposedly “hacked” the 2016 elections. If Democrats really want to overturn the current party in power they need to get serious and stop losing.

Occasionally, I come across an article written by someone on the Left that really gets me worried.

I worry that those who oppose President Trump and the GOP are getting their act together and will cream us at the mid-terms and go on to confine Trump to a one-term presidency.

I worry that they will form a mirror image of the Tea Party on the Left.

I worry that they will get serious about their ground game and rebuild the 2008 machine that put Obama in office for 8 years.

Cory Kuklick posted one such piece the other day entitled: “Listen, Can We Please Not Do This Sh*t?” This was directly in the wake of Rachel Maddow’s face-plant on Trump’s leaked tax returns. He warned that the Left should cut the crap and get serious about the real issues at hand.

I was worried reading this. And then I got to the second paragraph. The real issue, according to Cory: “There are hundreds of white supremacists throughout our federal and state governments, and they’re getting used to being able to say and do very racist shit without repercussion.”

I’m not worried anymore.

Long before Vladimir Putin broke into Hillary Clinton’s place to hack her bathtub-mounted personal email server, months before Donna Brazille chose to back-stab Bernie and overlook DNC tinker-toy security practices, and years before Podesta asked his dog what password he should use for his Gmail account… Democrats were losing elections and votes across the country — in massive amounts.

Let’s go to the numbers:

As you can see from the chart above, if you compare successive Presidential elections by county and by party we find:

  • In 2012, President Obama garnered fewer votes than he did in 2008 in 2779 counties. Only 333 counties showed up for Obama with higher vote tallies.
  • By comparison, the GOP between 2012 and 2008 (Romney compared to McCain) locked down higher vote totals in 1832 counties to their camp. It wasn’t enoug. (Full disclosure: I headed up part of the digital team for the Romney campaign.)
  • 2016 vs. 2012 (Clinton vs. Trump compared to Obama vs. Romney) Dems set another losing record with fewer votes turned out in 2710 US counties across all states. The GOP by comparison (again… just against their turnout in 2012) garnered 2534 counties with more vote totals.
  • If you look at 2016 vs. 2008 it gets really scary with Democrats losing votes in 2920 counties and Republicans racking up more votes for President in 2366 counties.

To be fair, 2008 was a banner year in Presidential election history but looking at the data on battleground states across the three elections demonstrates something more going on than fake Facebook posts about the Pope endorsing Trump turning the election.

Looking at the 3 states which primarily impacted the 2016 election the county + or - votes make it clear the Democrats are just not getting it:

If you compare the number of counties with more or fewer votes across all of the major Battleground states the results are the same:

In 2008, Obama handed us Republicans our hats — and we dutifully took to self-reflection, eating that hat, humble pie and anything else that would help us win in the future. We formed Tea Party movements, focused on our own elected officials and drove engagement against Obama and in favor of lower taxes, smaller government and core societal values that drive economic growth and national security.

Bottom line: Trends across elections matter. Democrats must stop this losing trend to stop losing elections. But I encourage them to chase the Russian rabbit and the hidden Nazis among us. That’ll work.

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Justin Hart

Justin Hart

CMO at large. I live at the intersection of AI, machine learning and marketing. It’s a busy corner! (I need to model that).