When it comes to the DNC, less is more, apparently.
In the wake of an insurgent Kansas Democrat who fought valiantly for a Republican-dominated congressional seat and lost, the DNC is defending its lack of action by arguing that they helped the Democrat more by staying out of the race entirely.
Democrat James Thompson was an unexpected contender in a safely red seat in Kansas. Thompson capitalized on growing anti-Trump sentiment in the state and nation in order to face Republican opponents. Despite being a firm Berniecrat, early polling showed Thompson rapidly closing the gap between himself and leading Republican opponent Ron Estes.
Despite his growing popularity, Thompson knew that he would need some help from the Democratic structure to succeed, and with so much anti-Trump sentiment, what better way was there for the Democratic party’s fundraising arm to contribute?
Thompson asked the DCCC for a $20,000 contribution to his campaign in order to bolster his opposition to Republican Estes. Despite the fact that Thomson appeared to be giving Estes a run for his money, the DCCC turned down the candidate’s request.
In the aftermath of the campaign in which Thompson closed the gap between himself and victor Estes to an impressive degree, the Democratic party is now arguing that they refused to give money to the campaign because they worried their presence would detract from his support rather than contribute to it.
From the Huffington Post:
“You do not get to the single digits in a district like this if you’re a nationalized Democrat,” said Meredith Kelly, the communications director for the committee. “End of story. That’s just the way it is. There are just certain races where it is not helpful to be attached to the national D.C. Democrats. It is the calculation you make in even the most competitive swing district.”
Thompson lost the race 552% to 46%, far closer than anyone would have predicted for the red district.
While it is indeed true that the Democratic party isn’t particularly popular at the moment, Thompson’s campaign clearly suffered from a lack of exposure, something more money – even from the DNC – would have helped remedy.
It is also laughable that the Democratic party would assume their voters are stupid enough to fall for that line. In every race, we have seen the DNC overreach in every aspect that they can, attempting to manipulate races in their favor. Why would they choose now to act strategically? Maybe it’s because Thompson didn’t embody the centrist values that the Democratic establishment so favors? Maybe it’s because he is a self-proclaimed Bernie Democrat?
Everywhere, people are begging for alternatives, regretting their Republican vote or regretting their lack of action before and during the election. The Democratic party merely needs to do their part and begin helping candidates – whether they are establishment or insurgent progressives – if we have any hope of making things happen in 2018.
So to the DNC structure that wants us to believe that they made the right move in Thompson’s case – you didn’t help at all, and he still lost. How effective is your strategy now?
These few races are test runs for how the next four years will go – for the DNC, it’s time to sink or swim.