Why Democrats Nearly Lost the House
The problem is their policies, not their marketing.
By
The Editorial Board
Nov. 15, 2020 6:18 pm ET
WSJ Opinion:

Democrats nearly lost their majority in the House on Nov. 3, and their post-election recriminations show the reason. They think their problem was their packaging instead of their policies.

Democrats have already lost eight seats net and could lose as many as 13 after the counting ends. They lost two in South Florida, at least two in California, and here and there across the country in places they had gained in 2018. They failed to pick up seats in Texas, Ohio or Florida, which they had targeted. We also count some 26 seats so far that Democrats won with 52% of the vote or less, despite a huge fund-raising advantage.
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The result may be the smallest House majority since 1919, and it’s especially shocking as Democrats reclaimed the White House. Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in the national popular vote by about 3.6%, while House Democratic candidates are ahead by only 2.1% (a margin that exaggerates the Democratic edge because more Democratic seats were uncontested). Democrats also had an incumbency advantage with three times as many Republican House Members retiring this year than Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed the losses on Mr. Trump’s ability to turn out Republicans, but the results show that Mr. Biden is more popular than are House Democrats.

Democrats are now brawling over the reason, with progressives and swing-state Members blaming each other. Progressives refuse to take any responsibility. A post-election memo from the left-wing Justice Democrats warned Democrats against retreating from their positions on culture or economics, claiming that their agenda drove turnout. It quoted a New York Times article saying, “the key is to link racism and class conflict.”