Democrats are going to have a tough time in the 2022 midterms. It’s not just a question of historical precedent that the midterms often go against the party in the White House, but added on top of that are Joe Biden’s bad numbers and the disarray that the Democrats are in. Many Democrats have already announced they’re running for the exits at the end of this term. At last count, it was 23 House Democrats who have indicated that they will not be running for re-election next year. Expect more to come after Christmas. Some see the wipeout coming and they just don’t want to hang around for it.
But there’s word now that there’s even more trouble in the ranks. There are problems between the folks who are having to run in battleground states and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the organization that’s supposed to help them win, according to Politico. The folks running think the Committee and its head, Sean Patrick Maloney, are hurting their chances. As one member noted, “This is a real f**king problem.”
Six members spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity about the problems that they were facing with the Committee.
They said that there was too much focus on Donald Trump and not enough on the pocketbook issues that voters are concerned with. “This is crazy to me that the DCCC is rolling out a playbook that they know doesn’t work and that they encouraged people in 2018 not to use,” said the member who dropped the f-bomb. The Committee is also pushing the hot button issue of abortion which some of the members want to avoid. “I’m not going to go out there and start bashing people for being pro-life. It would be a big mistake in my district,” the member said.
Some also felt hung out to dry over being forced to support the $3.5 trillion budget framework that could hurt them in their districts but the Committee threatened to withhold money from them if they didn’t vote for it. The DCCC is denying they did this. Instead of concentrating on helping them, they felt Maloney was siding with the leadership supporting such pressure on them.
The members are also noting Maloney is more left-wing and he doesn’t get that it doesn’t help to push that left-wing agenda in their contested more moderate/purple areas.
“The biggest problem is that he’s attacking front-line members for taking a different perspective,” one of the lawmakers said. “If you want to win purple and red seats, you have to distance yourself from other Democrats. He is a part of this ‘party purity’ march that is just going to ensure that we are DEEP in the minority.” The members indicated that they thought Maloney was using the position for his advancement, not necessarily working in the best interests of their re-elections.
The Committee pushed back against the claims.
The committee asked vulnerable Democrats to send Playbook positive statements about Maloney. About a half-dozen did, and so did Pelosi. “Sean is an incredible leader who listens to front-line members on our battle-tested strategies for success and encourages us to run the best campaigns for our districts,” said Rep. ELAINE LURIA (D-Va.).
But obviously, there are a lot of issues, or you wouldn’t have people finking out to Politico about what a significant problem it is. These moderates know this approach puts them at great risk. This reflects part of the greater problem the Democrats have in general with the American voters — the belief that the Democrats are too radical and/or that the policies they’re trying to sell aren’t working. It’s why voters are saying in polls that they’re leaning more toward Republicans. They see the Democrats at this point as failing on the economy and on crime — those are two issues that are resonating with voters. On both, the Democrats are in deep trouble, especially the Democrats in the moderate or red districts. If they can’t even have the Committee that’s supposed to be behind them pushing what they think will help their positions, add that to the list of things that are building toward a huge red wave.