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Even With Public Input, Will Dems Learn From 2014 Midterms? Some Not So Sure

MGN Online

About a week has passed since Election Day since Democrats took a major hit in the midterm elections, and national leaders are now asking everyday Democrats for help in figuring out went wrong. But, some wonder if the party will ever learn.

In a video release, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz first admits Democrats across the country didn’t do too well in last week’s election.

“I’m not going to gloss over the facts. On Tuesday, the Republicans had a good night. We didn’t,” she began.

“We know we’re right on the issues. The American people believe in the causes we’re fighting for, but the electoral success we have when our presidential nominee is able to make a case to our country as a whole doesn’t translate in other elections.  That’s why we lost in 2010, and that’s why we lost on Tuesday. We’ve got to do better. So, that’s why we’re going to kick off an effort at the DNC to do a top to bottom assessment on how we can do better on future mid-term elections like these.”

In the coming weeks, Wasserman-Schultz says she’ll be selecting a panel of party stakeholders and experts to spearhead the examination of how the Democratic Party can do a better job of connecting in mid-term elections. And, she wants public input as well.

“Because we are committed as a party to inclusiveness, we’re going to ask you to be part of this conversation. We’re going to ask you for your best ideas and we’re going to ask you for your patience as we test out new theories and try new ways of doing things,” said Wasserman-Schultz.

One of the key races Democrats were focused on is Florida’s gubernatorial race to unseat Republican incumbent Rick Scott. Democrats put their hope in Charlie Crist, but he lost to Scott by about one-percent. University of Florida Political Scientist Daniel Smith says there’s a lot that Democrats need to look at in this election.

He says one problem is Democrats didn’t do a good job of swaying many of their members of the Republican-turned-Democrat.

“And, the Florida Democratic Party has not yet figured out that if you don’t have money, you better have volunteers who are willing to sacrifice,” said Smith, during a Gainesville forum last week.

He added,“And, if you don’t have someone to believe in and you don’t have a platform to believe in, why bother? And, I think that is something that we’ll see if the Democratic Party learns from this election. I’m not positive that they will. They gambled everything on Charlie Crist with very little, credentials as a Democrat…couples vetoes here in there, couple ex-felons being disenfranchised. That’s about it! Not a lot more, but we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Wasserman-Schultz says after they get enough input, they’ll discuss the findings at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting early next year.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.