Friday, January 20, 2017

Democrats in sad shape: Power deficit as Trump era begins

Democrats begin the Donald Trump presidency in sad shape. They lack a clear power base, they've got no distinct national leader, and party brokers are searching for a formula to counter the new Republican-dominated government and figure out how to win again.
It's a curious and dispiriting position for a party that has led the national popular vote six out of the past seven presidential elections. Yet Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College count, while Republicans maintained their largest House majority since 1928 and kept control of the Senate - with 2018 advantages that offer the potential of a Senate supermajority in two years.
Outside Washington, Democrats now have just 16 governors and run 14 state legislatures, compared to 33 Republican governors and 32 GOP-run legislative bodies.
"We haven't been in this shape in a while ... but we will rebuild," insists interim Democratic Party Chairwoman Donna Brazile.
And Republicans have their own challenges.
Control means answering for everything from the economy to health care. Trump enters the Oval Office with the lowest approval ratings of any newly inaugurated president in more than a generation, and he's an unapologetic freelancer who sometimes flouts GOP orthodoxy. 

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