In a Tuesday interview, Michael Blake vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee said he thought there was “no way” that Republicans would be able to preserve their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“There is no way the Republicans are going to hold the House,” he said on Hill.TV’s morning show “Rising.”
Blake said that he thinks 2018 will turn out to be very similar to the 2016 election because disaffected voters eventually decided to reconcile with their party. In other words, he thinks previously disenchanted Democrats will come out in droves to support Democratic candidates.
“At the end of the day, the polling has essentially leveled out where we expected. People came back home,” he said.
One big thing different this year, as compared to 2016, however, is that nobody is taking anything for granted. Blake said that Democrats have learned from former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s decision to not even campaign in certain Midwestern swing states.
“The biggest difference is that we didn’t mobilize our base in 2016,” Blake said. “When you look at Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in particular, we did not mobilize as Democrats in these areas that we should have. If you don’t campaign in Wisconsin after losing in the primary. If you don’t mobilize in Western Michigan, you don’t mobilize in Western Pennsylvania, you’re going to lose those states.”
Those three states in the upper Midwest were part of the “Blue Wall” that had been longtime Democratic strongholds. When they all flipped to President Trump this allowed him to win an electoral college majority despite losing the national popular vote.
Democrats also now realize that Trump was able to defeat Clinton because too many people on the left believed her victory to be inevitable, the DNC vice-chairman said.
“I think people are walking in saying, ‘You know what? 2016 was a horrible experience in that many people thought this was done.’ They’re not going to allow that to be the case this time,” he said.
After having made those adjustments, the party executive said that he believed Democrats would pick up at least 30 seats in the House.
“It’s hard to see that not happening in every possible way,” he said. “The reality is everything is demonstrating that we will do this and take this back.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.