The Missouri Democratic Party rose to the challenge in the 2012 election cycle, with victory in five of six statewide races on the ballot. This electoral success shows the Party is alive and well, even when Republicans outnumbered Democrats at the polls and Mitt Romney carried the state.Don't get me wrong; Missouri Democrats did win important contests. They prevented Rex Sinquefield from buying the Secretary of State's office. They put themselves in good position for the next gubernatorial contest. They soundly thumped Ed Martin. And thank the holy heavens Claire McCaskill beat Todd Akin!
But the real problem is that Republicans won seats in the Missouri House of Representatives, and now have a veto-proof majority in both the house and senate. So even though we have a Democratic governor, Republicans can basically pass any law they want, provided they can get their caucus to support it.
And this flop is after a disastrous 2010 election where Democrats lost seats as well. I just don't understand how Missouri Democrats can be so bad at losing house and senate elections in a state where Democrats can win 5 out of 6 statewide races. Yes I realize, as the Post-Dispatch editorial board pointed out, that the redistricting process is less-than-ideal. But even so, it makes absolutely no sense that Republicans would control 67% of the House Seats and 70% of the Senate seats in a state where Obama wins 44% of the vote.
Who is in charge of recruiting and training good house and senate candidates, if not the Missouri Democratic Party? Is there any indication that they're even paying attention to this part of the political process? Their statement of "victory" doesn't indicate that they are. If Democrats don't want the state completely in control of birthers like House Speaker Tim Jones, they need to start figuring out how to compete at the House and Senate level.
Update: Jeff Mazur weighs in on Twitter:
So to clarify, based on Jeff's point, the legal institution known as the Missouri Democratic Party shouldn't be blamed for the disastrous situation in the Missouri legislature, as that's not really their responsibility. However, there's clearly disfunction in the leadership of the Missouri Democrats, which has now led to Republicans having virtually unchecked power.