In the weeks since Election Day, the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party have traded blame for underwhelming results in races across the nation.
According to moderate Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), the problem lies in a problematic “brand” for his party that has not been performing well among many working-class voters, as columnist Salena Zito pointed out in a column Wednesday.
“Hate us” or “afraid of us”
In a recent interview, Ryan acknowledged that it had been “a tough year for a lot of moderate Democrats around here and around the country,” Zito noted.
Though he was recently re-elected to serve his 10th term in the House, Ryan said his district has gone from solidly Democratic to very nearly being flipped to Republican.
“Our brand is not good,” Ryan reportedly said of his own party. “We have 70 million people who either hate us or are afraid of us or believe there is this vast spread of socialism in our party.”
The perceived extremism of the Democratic Party’s agenda, Ryan said, is “why we lost so many seats in the House, or some seats were a lot closer than we wanted.”
When Ryan was first elected to Congress in 2012, he sailed through with a 45.6-point margin of victory, according to the Tribune Chronicle. That cushion has grown smaller in subsequent races, culminating in a seven-point lead over his GOP rival earlier this month.
“Voters don’t care about the last Twitter fight”
Of course, Ryan is not alone in witnessing such a trajectory and warned that it does not bode well for Democrats seeking office in upcoming races.
“It is going to be challenging in 2022,” the congressman said, signaling a desire to work with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to shift the party’s direction, as the Chronicle noted.
“The party brand is going to change,” he added. “Definitely Ohio will be a challenge in 2022.”
Ryan traced much of the blame lies in the nationalization of local politics and increased engagement in tit-for-tat political squabbles on social media that some politicos and pundits believe are important issues to the average voter.
“That is not the case,” the Democrat declared. “Voters don’t care about the last Twitter fight. They care about jobs and the economy.”