Friday, November 9, 2012

Missouri Democratic Party Declares Victory While Losing All Control Over Lawmaking Process

The Missouri Democratic Party is out with a statement today cheering how successful they were in the elections:
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.


  1. I suspect if we looked at the state house and state senate seats in the counties of Jackson, St. Louis, and St. Louis City, and compared that to the presidential and gubernatorial votes in those counties.

    And then did the same comparison in other counties, we might see a pattern. We might discover that those who are voting for Democrats in the state legislature are likelhy the same people who are voting for Obama, Nixon and McCaskill. Statewide, the number of people in Jackson and St. Louis make a difference.

    As it is, it's usually only the rural Democrats who can win a statewide contest; they can appeal to the independents in the rural areas. But when it comes to local elections, these independents aren't enough to swing most of the races.

    It's a guess. I haven't done the math.

  2. Perhaps by supporting State Senate and House candidates who offer an alternative, especially in the rural areas, to the Republicans we could actually gain control of the legislature.

    Let's be honest with ourselves shall we? If a Republican is holding the office, why would anyone vote for a Democrat who has the same values? Better the devil known?

    Adam, do not get me started, but the fact is the Missouri Democratic Party have a lot of work to do to rebuild. Strong state leadership would help but the problem also exists on the Ward and Township level with Committee people.

    To say the very's frustrating from a grassroots activists point of view.