Following huge 2014 midterms losses, Democratic Party leaders did some soul searching, analyzed their problems, and made recommendations for winning in the future.

The results were published in the Democratic Victory Task Force Preliminary Findings. Most notably, Democrats want more “narrative” to help them win back the southern whites they hate. You can read the document here. I’ll share a few short excerpts:

As Democrats, we believe in an economy where hard work is rewarded, where everyone pays his or her fair share and plays by the rules. We believe in a government that’s focused on building a stronger and more secure middle class, with good-paying jobs, affordable higher education, and a secure retirement…

The national Democratic Party must never allow itself to become a party of Beltway consultants who routinely recommend cookie-cutter campaigns that are detached from the concerns of the people we hope to represent, at the city, state, and federal level. In order to consistently win on every level, we have to reconnect with the reason we want to win—and that reason is the people. The national party must work with and help grow state and local parties, to empower the people to participate in politics, while recruiting and training the next generation of office holders….

We know that our message is powerful because our opponents are trying to steal it. Income inequality and the resulting middleclass economic stagnation have become so extreme that even the Republicans are giving lip service to economic fairness—even as they advocate policies that would undermine it…

No area of this review caused more debate or solicited more ideas than the belief that there is no single narrative that unites all of our work and the issues that we care about as a community of Democrats. It is strongly believed that the Democratic Party is loosely understood as a long list of policy statements and not as people with a common set of core values (fairness, equality, opportunity). This lack of cohesive narrative impedes the party’s ability to develop and maintain a lifelong dialogue and partnership with voters.

The Task Force recommends creating a National Narrative Project to work with party leaders, activists, and messaging and narrative experts to create a strong values-based national narrative that will engage, inspire and motivate voters to identify with and support Democrats…

In order to win elections, the Democratic Party must reclaim voters that we’ve lost including white Southern voters.

TIME’s Zeke Miller dug into the document and provided more commentary:

Democrats Call for Focus on Narrative, White Voters After 2014 Losses

The Democratic Party’s autopsy of its devastating defeat in 2014 calls for a renewed focus on the party’s message and winning back white Southern voters.

In preliminary findings unveiled Saturday at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee, a task force studied the party’s defeats in 2010 and 2014—despite its victories in the 2008 and 2012 presidential years. It called for the creation of a “National Narrative Project” to help the party develop a message that can survive in midterm election years.

“This morning we’re going to hear some tough love, and frankly we need to hear it,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the DNC.

Here are a couple of choice observations:

Democrats might want to keep working on the new plan.

Featured image is a screencap from the report cover.


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