These are hardly tremendous odds against Democratic control [of the Senate].... The real complaint is that the Senate favors small states—which is true—and thus favors Republicans—which isn’t. There’s nothing about a small population that automatically makes a state Republican. Delaware’s Senate delegation is Democratic. Oregon is Democratic. Hawaii is Democratic. New Mexico is Democratic. [NDD: So are Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and geographically Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts as well.] Ditto in reverse for big states: Texas is Republican. Florida is Republican. Ohio is Republican. Georgia is Republican.
The problem is that US politics over the past few decades has become less and less about economic issues and more and more about social issues, and that makes elections into moral crusades. And that, in turn, means that compromise is all but impossible. As recently as a decade ago, for example, Senate Democrats unanimously supported the “Gang of Eight” compromise immigration bill. Today it’s unlikely a similar bill would even attract a majority of Democrats. In fact, many of the immigration plans that were floated during the Democratic primary this year came within shouting distance of supporting open borders.
Democrats could obviously win more swing states if they wanted to, but it would mean making compromises on hot-button social issues like abortion, guns, police, religion, immigration, and so forth. Instead, the party has moved left on theseissues and activists are now infuriated that it’s paying a price among center-left voters in swing states.
I don’t agree with everything Drum says above. In particular, I don’t see any evidence that center-left voters are abandoning the Democratic Party. Quite the contrary!