Sensing a bad year for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections, Planned Parenthood has decided to embark on a massive midterm election campaign. The pro-abortion organization plans to drop $20 million this cycle, focusing on eight states with competitive races. It’s the organization’s largest midterm election effort in its history. So, if you’re a Democrat in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, be somewhat relieved that cash is coming. Yet, five vulnerable red state Democrats with decent to solid ratings from Planned Parenthood have been left in the wilderness.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Jon Tester (D-MT) won’t be seeing a dime, even though McCaskill, Tester, and Heitkamp all have 100 percent ratings from Planned Parenthood.
Maybe PP think these five can win in 2018, or maybe the organization is sending a strong message that supporting progressives more than their conservative to center-right faction is more important. On the latter, the organization could be saying we’re supporting the urban bastion of power for Democrats that it’s going to be die-hard progressives from here on out. We’ll see.
Right now, Democrats do have a lot of good things going for them as we enter 2018 season, but brutal and crowded primaries among Democratic candidates, coupled with a booming economy, could sink the party’s hopes of retaking the House and making gains in the Senate. A civil war among Democrats on abortion rights could be brewing, as Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) decided to voice support for pro-life Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), breaking with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Democrats are also still lost in the woods concerning having an economic message for Trump voters, which Democrats have to win back to win. It could turn into a bloodbath, which I’m sure Republicans would welcome. The party is facing a string of retirements, historical trends against the ruling party in these contests, and robust Democratic enthusiasm. The one thing that could punch Democrats in the mouth is the increasingly popularity of Trump’s tax bill. Over 250 companies have doled out bonuses to over 3 million workers. People are seeing their paychecks getting bigger and hopefully by now, calculating how much they’re going to save.
It’s still way too early to predict what 2018 will yield. Still, when we get down to it, the Democratic Party has no message—just hate Trump. That’s not enough to win.