The Democrats face a very uncertain political landscape in 2018. They find themselves having to defend far more vulnerable seats than the Republicans do in an era when the GOP is on a bit of a roll despite itself.
At times, they take solace in the fact that midterm elections tend to favor the party that is not in the White House. After Trump was elected, they were positively giddy, assuming that would be enough to get them through the midterms successfully.
There is just one problem though: The Democrats still don’t have any real message other than “We don’t like Donald Trump.” That’s pretty much all that Hillary ran on and we all know how that worked out.
As The Washington Post pointed out in August, not everything adds up to a slam dunk for the Dems.
To make things even more difficult, pro-life groups are using legislative accountability to target Democratic incumbents in redder states.
From USA Today:
Anti-abortion advocates are lobbying the Senate to bring up legislation that would criminalize performing abortions after five months even though it isn’t likely to pass. Their goal, according to the advocacy organization Susan B. Anthony List, is to “force vulnerable pro-abortion Senators up in 2018 to either stand with their pro-life constituents and vote for this bill, or stand with the extreme abortion lobby.”
“This is not a vote that Senator Claire McCaskill or any Senator running in a state carried by President Trump wants to have,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said after the House passed a bill that would make it illegal to perform abortions after 20 weeks. McCaskill, is a Democrat from Missouri, up for re-election in a state that Trump won by 19 points.
It isn’t so much that SBA List expects McCaskill to vote for the legislation — though they’d be thrilled if she did — really, they’re just hoping to get her on the record.
McCaskill was lucky to win the term she’s finishing, having benefited from a Tea Party rift in Missouri and the fact that her opponent Todd Akin could not stop his idiotic mouth from moving. Missouri Republicans simply had to run a barely functional candidate to beat her, and they couldn’t even do that.
The Susan B. Anthony List is a very effective pro-life group. If they combine their people with those of other organizations, they might be able to move the electoral needle against Democrats who won’t support the bill.
As mentioned above, however, if they can get some of them to support the bill that makes it even better.