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What's Next For The Democratic Party?

United States Democratic Party

Democrats stumbled in last week's election, losing the White House and falling short of recapturing the U.S. Senate. The party now must determine how to dig themselves out of the electoral hole. Party strategists look at mistakes made and how to lure back voters.

In the run-up to last week's election, pundits were saying the writing was on the wall for the Republican Party - that America's changing demographics spelled doom for the Party of Lincoln and would cost the party the presidency. Polls and conventional wisdom had Hillary Clinton on her way to the Oval Office.

But the electorate had other plans.

While the popular vote tilted to Clinton, the Electoral College went to Donald Trump, and the political map was redrawn. Some parts of the Democrats' "blue wall" turned red. And instead of being dragged down by Trump, Senate Republicans, including North Carolina's Richard Burr, rode to victory on Trump's coattails.

There were some bright spots for Tar Heel Democrats. Roy Cooper holds a slim lead in the still-too-close-to-call gubernatorial race, and Democrats captured a majority on the state Supreme Court. But they didn't put a dent in the Republican super-majority in the General Assembly.

So Democrats now find themselves in the position Republicans were expected to be in - figuring out how to return to political power. Did the party misread the electorate? Does it need a new strategy? How does it bring voters who were lured by Trump's message back into the fold?


Dr. Adolphus Belk, professor of political science, Winthrop University

Aisha Dew, former chair, Mecklenburg County Democratic Party; North Carolina director for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign

Dan McCorkle, Democratic strategist

Thomas Mills, editor, PoliticsNC.com; Democratic strategist; 2016 Democratic nominee for North Carolina's 8th Congressional District


The Future of the Democratic PartyThe New York Times

Democrats Consider How To Move Forward After Trump VictoryNPR