I’d like to address a cherished, oft-cited talking point: that Democrats lost ~1000 legislative seats over the past three election cycles. While this is technically true, Democrat have sustained significant losses at the state level, there is a lot more to it than that.
President Obama’s election in 2008 and the subsequent passage of the stimulus package and ACA sparked a huge backlash that fired up the Tea Party movement.
Then summer of 2010, SCOTUS handed down its decision on Citizens United. Outside money flooded in, galvanizing the Tea Party message and swamping us in the midterms. This positioned the GOP to oversee the redistricting process in a majority of states, and with gerrymandering they rendered most CDs non-competitive, mostly in their favor.
In 2013 SCOTUS ruled in Shelby v. Holder that states and jurisdictions with a history of racially motivated voter suppression no longer needed federal permission to change their election laws. Their rationale was, “Racism is over,” so it shouldn’t surprise you that within a month, 33 states passed new voter suppression laws targeting POC.
That’s when VoterID swept the country, and states like Arizona & NC were able to drastically reduce polling locations, early voting, etc. And that’s why we got destroyed in 2014, when few people saw it coming.
2016 was the first Presidential election with these new voter suppression laws in place. Any Democrat would have underperformed Obama in those states, including Obama, because fewer Democrats were/are eligible to vote.
So next time someone tries to say we lost because “Hillary alienated WWC” or “Democratic leadership is incompetent,” please set them straight. Gerrymandering & voter suppression are the culprits, not ideology. Voting rights should be @TheDemocrats’ top priority going forward.