At the state level, the party faced a sustained run of bad results that included losing some 900 local legislative seats, while watching Republicans capture 31 governorships.Republicans now boast 25 state “trifectas”—in which they control the legislature and the governor’s office—compared with just six for Democrats.To comprehend the magnitude of Democratic losses, consider that Republicans hold more power in the states than at any time since the Civil War.Democrats knew after 2014 that they had serious problems. A party task force examining that year’s election results acknowledged the stark losses. But the group’s recommendations for revival were bland at best, focusing largely on organization and infrastructure rather than on ideas that might appeal to the electorate.Recommendations included expanding voting rights, working harder to control redistricting, and building an “open and accessible” party.The resulting document said almost nothing about policies except in the broadest terms, and ignored the fact that Republicans were winning in many states with an agenda that included fiscal restraint and a pro-business approach to economic growth. And the task-force report made no acknowledgment that the increasingly leftward drift of the party had driven away many of its traditional blue-collar constituents.As early as 2013, trade unions whose membership once formed part of the Democratic Party’s core were in revolt against the Affordable Care Act, the growing power of public-sector unions, and the increasing influence that the environmentalist, no-growth agenda had on the party.Many of those trade union members defected to Trump in 2016.
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