Democrats should change their electoral strategy


Kenshin Dean

The Democrats won the last two gubernatorial elections before the 2021 elections. However, the Republicans won the 2021 election, due to Democratic strategies being inadequate, relying on tying the candidate to former President Donald Trump.

With the loss of Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic electoral strategy proven to be shaky, and many publications, including The Washington Post and Fox News have started to predict a large loss for the Democratic Party in the 2022 midterm elections. Democratic strategy needs to change to adopt the successful political strategy of the 2020 elections, something that they have seemingly abandoned over the last year.

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican Governor-elect, flipped key areas that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, such as Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Chesterfield County. Key Democratic Congressional districts, such as the second and the seventh districts, also voted for Youngkin as well. 

This seems to be because of the Democrats’ alienating political strategy. They put a heavy focus on the negative comparison between Youngkin and Donald Trump, attempting to reel in the suburban White demographic that voted for Biden in 2020. 

However, the Democrats failed to understand the key issues that kept independent voters, who make up 44% of the electorate nationally, close to that amount in Virginia, according to Gallup Polls. 

Democrats have abandoned the grassroots voting strategy that worked so well for them in 2020. They have instead opted for a traditional campaign, one filled with fear mongering and television ads that compared Youngkin to Trump. However, their target demographic failed to see the comparison.

The Republicans used some of the Democratic strategies from 2020. They pushed early voting and mail-in ballots, as well as knocking on doors in order to recruit more early voters, according to The New York Times.

If Democrats don’t re-adopt this strategy, their loss in the 2022 midterms will be massive, and ultimately, the GOP will take the executive branch as well. 

Democrats should try to increase voter registration in minority populations, especially in the Black demographic that continues to have the least amount of voter registration out of all racial demographics.

One of the main issues that the voters had with, according to NPR, is that the trust of Joe Biden and the Congressional Democrats is continually waning, due to the constant infighting over the Infrastructure Bill. 

Some voters say that returning to the grassroots campaign strategy won’t work again, since many voters would not be fooled by Democratic ads that demonized opposing politicians. However, historically, successful Democratic campaigns relied on high voter turnout, which is mainly motivated by volunteer grassroots voter registration drives and local media campaigns that help spread the message about how to vote. 

If the Democrats pass more bills and fulfill campaign promises, such as federal marijuana legalization and college debt forgiveness, the trust of the Democratic Party will increase, and the grim-looking 2022 elections could look up again. 

Voters can help by registering with electoral volunteer campaigns or contacting local Congressional representatives, in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. By urging them to go back to using grassroots support for their campaigns, the Democratic could prevent a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress.