The Democratic Party is already signaling that they won’t be solidly backing Jack Trammell, the Democratic candidate for Eric Cantor’s old seat after Cantor announced that he won’t run as a write-in candidate.
Roll Call reported this morning that, “National Democrats are considering competing for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s House seat in the unlikely case the Virginia Republican runs as a write-in candidate in November.” That report meant that the Democratic Party wasn’t planning on getting solidly behind their nominee in the 7th district, Jack Trammell. Those plans became definite when Cantor told his staff in a closed door meeting today that, “I am not going to do a write-in. I am a Republican and proud of that.”
Another sign that the party was not planning to go full throttle behind Trammell is that the DNC immediately began raising money off of Cantor’s defeat, but not for the Virginia race. Strategically, the Democratic Party’s decision makes sense. Cantor’s district is solidly red. Mitt Romney won Cantor’s district by 15 points over President Obama in 2012. John McCain beat President Obama by 7 points in 2008. George W. Bush won Cantor’s district by 23 points in 2004, and 24 points in 2000.
Even though Democrats have won Virginia twice in a row at the presidential level, Cantor’s soon to be old district is a different story. Democrats in heavily red districts face the same lack of support for the national party that Trammell is facing. The Democratic strategy for last few House cycles has been to give Democrats is solid red districts a hearty pat on the back, well wishes, but no precious party campaign dollars.
Hopefully, activists and outside groups pick up the slack and do what the party organization is showing little interest in doing. The odds are long in the effort to turn Eric Cantor’s old seat blue, but Democrats activists on the left should lend their support and try to make it happen.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association