Since 1994, the Democratic party has followed a “swing district” strategy, in which the party supports only those candidates who have a very good chance to win. While this is the “right” answer for any given election, it’s been ruinous as a long-term approach.
In 2016, Democrats left uncontested 43% of congressional races, leaving millions of potential votes on the table. In these 187 “forgotten” districts, the Democratic nominee (if there even was one) raised an average of only $51,384, an amount completely inadequate to run a modern congressional campaign. By comparison, Democratic nominees in the other 248 districts raised an average of $1,589,213.
Had the nominees in these Forgotten Districts had enough resources to earn a normal Democratic percentage of the vote,* they would have turned out enough additional Democratic voters to elect Hillary Clinton president — flipping Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — and to give Democrats control of the U.S. Senate. Instead, Donald Trump is president and the Republican party is in complete control of Congress.
We cannot let this happen ever again.
* as measured by The Cook Political Report's “Partisan Voter Index”