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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

House Democratic Woes and "Defund the Police"


In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.   Our next book, title TBA, discusses the 2020 results.

Some Democrats think that the controversy over "defunding" the police cost their party seats in the 2020 congressional elections.

Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and Ally Mutnick at Politico:
A dozen races remain uncalled, and Democrats caution they won’t have all the answers for months. But many in the party are warning that the biggest priority for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee must be overhauling its message. They say it needs to craft a proactive campaign that counters GOP attacks on everything from Medicare for All to fracking — if they have any hopes of keeping their majority in 2022.

"There were ads being run all over the country about socialism and about the Green New Deal and in some parts of the country that didn’t help,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said in an interview. "I think it would be irresponsible for a person in our family — in the Democratic Caucus family — who is concerned about it not to mention it."

Others were more blunt: "From my standpoint, as a moderate Democrat ... it’s crystal clear we need a different message than what we’ve been having,” added Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.).

Top Democrats had braced for the GOP police-focused ads. DCCC polled the issue over the summer as nationwide protests over social justice began dominating the headlines, finding it “incredibly damaging,” according to a Democratic strategist familiar with the data.


 Most endangered Democrats struggled to counter the flood of GOP ads on the issue: Republicans aired roughly 70 different broadcast ads that mentioned “defund the police,” according to data from Advertising Analytics, a media tracking firm.

From Ballotpedia:

In the weeks after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020, nationwide demonstrations and protests were held calling for changes to policing. Officials responded by issuing executive orders and passing legislation to eliminate certain policing tactics, such as chokeholds, and implement new community policing strategies.[1][2]

This page tracks police-related local ballot measures proposed in the wake of Floyd's death that make changes related to the following policy areas:
  • police oversight;
  • the powers and structure of oversight commissions;
  • police practices;
  • law enforcement department structure and administration;
  • law enforcement budgets and funding allocation;
  • law enforcement training requirements; and
  • body and dashboard camera footage.
Ballotpedia identified 20 local police-related ballot measures on the ballot for November 3, 2020, that qualified following the death of George Floyd.

All 20 measures were approved.