The Democratic Party has been on a long, painful slide to the extreme left of politics for the last eight years and at least one elected official has seen enough. In announcing that he will run for re-election in his home state of West Virginia this year, Sen. Joe Manchin – beyond dispute the most conservative, levelheaded Democrat in the party – warned that without people like him, the Democrats would watch their power fade into the history books.
Democrats were collectively breathing a sigh of relief when Manchin announced his re-election bid; while the West Virginia senator does not agree with the party’s leadership across the board, he represents an important seat for the party in the Senate. After claiming that Alabama seat in the special elections, Democrats see a thin window of opportunity in which they could take back the Senate in the mid-terms. Seeing Manchin give up to his seat to a neophyte contender would risk losing that seat altogether to a Republican contender.
But Manchin told The New York Times that we wouldn’t be around forever and that it was important for Democrats to keep the party’s platform open to moderates who could conceivably win in conservative states like West Virginia.
“I’ve said this point blank: If people like me can’t win from red states, you’ll be in the minority the rest of your life,” he said.
This is the internal war that’s playing out in the Democratic Party right now and it’s what makes us extremely skeptical of these polls that say they’re going to take back control of the Senate in November. Yeah, they’ve got Trump’s unfavorability ratings to run against, but that’s only going to take them so far. Those ratings weren’t any higher in 2016, and they didn’t stop Trump from dominating the primaries and handing Hillary a sound defeat when it was time for the rubber to meet the road. Virtually all of the enthusiasm in the Democratic Party comes from the so-called “progressives,” and there just don’t exist enough of them to make a difference outside a few already-solidly blue states. We predict big electoral troubles ahead for the Democrats.