• Democrats Meet in Baltimore to Chart Year Ahead
  • February 11, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Last week the Republicans met in Baltimore to consider the year ahead. This week, Democrats did the same. The biggest challenge for Democrats is how to expand on their House caucus. With just 188 seats, the House Democratic caucus is at its smallest level in over 50 years.

    It will be a challenge for Democrats to flip the 30 seats necessary and return Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the speaker's chair. Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) told Democrats that the best way for them to win is to "run on what we have done." Biden said that in his opinion Democrats didn't highlight their accomplishments enough last cycle.

    Before the vice president spoke, the Democratic Congressional Committee's Chair - Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) - held a closed-door briefing for members to outline the party's 2016 election strategy. According to attendees, Lujan emphasized that turnout will be critical for Democrats, noting that a high turnout will help Democrats.

    While Democrats are not giving up on the possibility of re-taking the House in 2016, many are taking the long view - believing that demographic trends will continue to favor Democrats over the next few years and indeed decades.

    With such a small caucus in the House, the Democrats’ best chance at advancing their agenda in the near future is to hope that the rifts among House Republicans emerge again. When John Boehner was speaker he routinely had to rely on Democratic votes to push major pieces of legislation across the finish line - allowing Democrats to extract a legislative price.

    So far, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has avoided the same right-wing rebellion that Boehner faced, but many Democrats expect that this honeymoon will not last.