*The following was published in The Hill: CongressBlog.
After yet another wave of GOP victories in the recent elections, it is time for the Democratic Party to face the fact.
We are losing.
Yet, some scoff at the idea, especially with the 2016 presidential election favoring a Democratic win. However, across the country, the Democratic message is being drowned in a red sea of Republican-controlled states.
Democrats have done well in the past two presidential races, but when it comes to the federal, state and local levels in the midterm elections, we are getting crushed.
Shockingly, we Democrats are at our lowest numbers since Herbert Hoover was elected president in 1928, almost 90 years ago. Since 2010, we have lost 69 U.S. House seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 912 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers, and 12 governorships. Republicans now hold 33 vs. 16 Democratic state house chambers, 35 vs. 14 Democratic state senate chambers, 32 vs. 18 Democratic governorships, and the majority in both the U.S. House (246 vs. 188) and the U.S. Senate (54 vs. 44).
So why is the Democratic Party having such a hard time reaching the heartland of America? The recent Kentucky gubernatorial race offers a good narrative. The Democratic candidate thought he had an easy path to the governor’s office. He was ahead in the polls against a novice Tea Party Republican who even the Republican establishment thought would lose. Yet the Republican won by standing against Planned Parenthood and gay marriage. The Democratic Governors Association blamed the loss on “Trumpmania,” but it was more about moral values, such as abortion, an issue that has left the Kentucky State House as the only legislative chamber in the South under Democratic control. A change of just five seats in the Kentucky State House could end the last vestige of Democratic control in the South.