Trump’s unconventional campaign could help Democrats regain legislative seats, LSU professor says
The “unconventional nature” of the Trump campaign and its relative lack of organization could help Democrats gain legislative seats, LSU professor and political scientist Robert Hogan tells Governing magazine.
Polls may have shifted in the GOP’s favor in the closing days of this year’s election, but Democrats remain likely to post gains at the legislative level. In part, that’s because they have practically nowhere to go but up. Republicans control two-thirds of the nation’s legislative chambers, many by supermajorities.
Nevertheless, the picture at the legislative level is complicated, Hogan says, by Trump’s appeal to blue-collar white voters who may have traditionally voted Democratic.
Trump’s campaign has devoted far less attention and resources to field work and data analytics than typical presidential campaigns. In some places, it doesn’t appear to have coordinated its efforts closely with state parties on the ground.
By contrast, President Barack Obama has endorsed more than 100 Democrats seeking legislative office, recording robocalls for some of them—an unprecedented effort from a sitting president in recent elections.
Democrats have been confident all year about regaining ground they’d lost, particularly in 2014. Two years ago, the GOP took over 11 chambers, many of them in typically blue states.
“We expect to evict Republican majorities from several of the chambers they’ve essentially been ‘renting’ since the 2014 GOP wave, like those in New Mexico, Nevada, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine and Washington, for example,” says Carolyn Fiddler, communications director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.