The Democrats may be down but they are certainly not out, and they’re recruiting veterans of America’s post 9/11 conflicts to run for House seats in 2018 to prove their staying power. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal:
The [Democrat] party is running military veterans in competitive congressional districts across the country: Fifteen veterans have already launched 2018 House campaigns, and 10 more may enter races by this summer, Democratic officials say.
The strategy hinges on the unpopularity of President Donald Trump, whereby Dems hope to leverage his low approval rating into wins in many of the 75 to 100 House districts they believe will be in play in 2018.
Apparently Democrats are seeking to bring the lost veteran sheep back into the fold, much like they did by focusing on conservative districts in 2006 with candidates that would appeal to a more conservative center line. They are working with VoteVets, a group that, according to the WSJ report is “a liberal political-action committee with which the party’s House campaign arm has often been at odds.”
It also sounds like Democrats are banking on veteran candidates being less ideologically pure in the hope they can win the country-before-party people who are already feeling disaffected by an administration that is under FBI investigation 5 months in. In any case, they have an uphill climb. Many of those veterans are having to reestablish themselves in their home districts after not having lived there during deployment, in some cases for years. And if they want to retake the House, they must win 24 seats in 2018.
However, according to new research, they do have a shot. Millennials are reportedly leaving the GOP at a fast clip according to the always-fair and unbiased Salon (using Pew Research, which is a bit better in the accuracy area):
According to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center, 23 percent of Republican voters ages 18-29 have switched parties since 2015, against just 9 percent of Democratic voters in the same age range. As many as half of Republicans 30 and under have abandoned the party at one point or another during that time.
The GOP should begin preparing now for a midterm fight. What that preparation looks like will be interesting.