Democrats Looking Ahead to Governors’ Races in 2017 and 2018

Politico has a good look at the governors’ races coming up in the next two years, and how they offer the Democratic Party’s best immediate chances as a path to rebuilding in the wake of the recent election.

Coming up first are the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races and statewide legislative races scheduled for late 2017. Candidates in both parties are already moving in these races. I will write a preview/outlook of these states and races in December as a look for what’s ahead in the new year.

Even further down the line are the 2018 midterms. The Senate calendar that year is particularly difficult, and the likelihood of retaking the House of Representatives is slim. However, 26 out of 36 governor’s mansions up for election (or re-election) are held by Republicans. This means that if Democrats can retake some of those states, their party will be in place and in control for the 2020 census and redistricting.

The great unknown right now will be the dynamics of the country and individual states going into those election cycles. Looking at it one or two years ahead, the two obvious factors that will have an impact will be the state of the economy, as well as the popularity of the Republican-controlled Washington DC (President Trump and the McConnell/Ryan Congress).

Lots more on this subject to come in the future.

Happy Thanksgiving

Not a whole lot to report today. Check out this Wall Street Journal article about the Democrats trying to figure out what to do next in the aftermath of the election. My goal is to cover a lot of the issues and subjects mentioned on this blog in the weeks, months and years ahead.

In the meantime, I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  Barring any extraordinary circumstances, regular blogging/writing/reporting will resume on Monday.

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UPDATE: CNN’s Jake Tapper makes a good observation.

Keith Ellison Calls for End to the Electoral College

From his Twitter feed earlier today:

Ellison also put out two press releases today, one touting endorsements for DNC chairman from Lee Sanders (President of AFSCME) and Randi Weingerten (President of AFT), the other a personal statement reaffirming his support for Israel and a proposed two-state solution with the Palestinians. The second statement is likely in the aftermath of yesterday’s New York Times article which noted his previous comments praising Louis Farrakhan, as well as the likely review of those comments by opposition researchers and journalists now that he is running for DNC chairman.

DNC Candidate Ray Buckley Hints at “Very Big Changes” to Superdelegate System

If you aren’t following New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley on Twitter, you should. Here are some recent tweets from today with his views on the DNC:

Raymond Buckley Flirts with Entering DNC Chairman Race

Politico’s Daniel Strauss obtained this email New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Raymond Buckley sent out to members of the DNC:

Buckley hasn’t committed himself one way or the other (yet) as to whether or not he will get in the race, but he does list his record and position on issues important to DNC members. In other words, he is teasing a potential run, while still leaving enough wiggle room to back out if he so chooses.

Howard Dean, Keith Ellison, and Jaime Harrison have already declared themselves in the race. If Buckley gets in, that would make four candidates in the field.

Ellison Rolls Out 35 Endorsements for DNC Chair

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) released a list of 35 endorsements for his DNC chairmanship candidacy from elected officials and organizations on Friday.  Among those who signed on: Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), United Steelworkers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This follows early endorsements from outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Ellison is clearly trying to build on his early momentum in an effort to lock down early front runner status. It is unclear as of right now which of the many potential candidates will emerge as his chief challenger(s).

Update: Ellison’s opponents (including former DNC chairman Howard Dean and South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison) and other Democrats are pushing back on his candidacy, arguing that his responsibilities as a member of Congress (votes, oversight, and constituents) would undercut his ability to do the DNC chairman job effectively. Their argument is that being the DNC chairman is a full-time job, especially now when the party is rebuilding.  They point out Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was a member of the House of Representatives in addition to being the DNC chair during most of Obama’s presidency, who wound up having to resign from the job in the aftermath of a WikiLeaks email dump last summer.