Southern Democrats are coming together to call for the party to return to backing lifting people out of economic hardship according to a report by AP.
Members of the Democratic party, who were hard hit in the mid term elections, are calling for a return to policy that reflects the core values of the party including a focus on public works and an increase in spending on education.
According to AP: “It’s time to draw a line in the sand and not surrender our brand,” Rickey Cole, the party chairman in Mississippi, said. He believes candidates have distanced themselves from the past half-century of Democratic principles.
“We don’t need a New Coke formula,” Cole said. “The problem is we’ve been out there trying to peddle Tab and RC Cola.”
Cole is one of several Southern Democrats who all acknowledge that there are party divisions with prominent populists such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Democratic politics have become more difficult than ever to promote in the South of America with challenges facing the party at every turn and with so many Republicans in the minds of those in the south it is proving difficult for the Democrats to even make their voices and policies be heard.
According to AP exit polling suggests Democrats did not get the black turnout they needed and lost badly among whites. Nunn and Carter got fewer than 1 in 4 white votes, while Pryor took 31 percent and Landrieu 18 percent.
J.P. Morrell, a state senator from New Orleans, laid blame on a confused message that began with candidates avoiding President Barack Obama. “You have to articulate why the economic policies we advocate as Democrats actually benefit people on the ground,” Morrell said.
Georgia’s Democratic chairman, DuBose Porter, defended Carter and Nunn as “world-class candidates” who can run again. He said Democrats “proved Georgia can be competitive in 2016,” but he cautioned against looking for a nominee other than Clinton. “She puts us in play,” he said according to AP.
In an interview, Carter focused more on tactics than on broad messaging, saying the party must register minority voters and continue outreach to whites. “If 120,000 people change their mind in this election, it comes out differently,” he said. “But it takes a lot of time to build those relationships. … You can’t expect it to happen in one year.”