The Democratic Party entered 2016 confident that they would retain the White House, retake the Senate, and be competitive to take back the House. Not only did they fail on all three of three of those goals, but the numbers paint an even bleaker picture for the Democrats as President Obama prepares to leave office.
10 — State Legislatures
After the 2016 election, Democrats have control of just 10 state legislatures. Six states have split control — New York, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado and Washington. If only one of those were to switch to Republican majorities in both chambers, it would be enough to call a constitutional convention.
16 — Governors
Democrats lost another two governorships this cycle, continuing a trend of hemorrhaging executive seats since President Obama took office in 2008. Most remarkably, Republicans took control of Vermont’s governorship, as Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott defeated his Democratic opponent by nearly 9 points.
14 — Lieutenant Governors
As if things for Democrats weren’t bad enough with such a small contingent of governorships, the numbers are even worse for them among lieutenant governors. Currently, there are only 14 Democratic lieutenant governors — a figure that includes states where the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket. After the 2008 election, Democrats controlled 23 lieutenant governorships, nine more than they do today.
19 — Secretaries of State
Democrats fare better among secretaries of state, but they’re still a pretty small minority here, too. With only 19 secretaries of state compared to the GOP’s 31, Democrats continue to shrink their ranks throughout executive branches across the country. The year President Obama took office, 27 secretaries of state were Democrats. Over the course of his administration, Democrats have lost a net eight seats for this position.
6 — Number of New Congressional Seats Won by Democrats
Despite making emphatic promises they would be competitive in the races for U.S. House of Representatives this year, congressional Democrats picked up only six seats for the 115th Congress. This means they succeeded at winning only 2.4 percent of offices held by Republicans this cycle, an exceptionally terrible failure considering they floated numerous stories in the media (here, here and here, for example) indicating they believed the House to be in play due to Donald Trump’s negative effect on down-ballot GOP candidates.
2 – Number of Senate Seat Pickups by Democrats
Days leading up to the 2016 election, prognosticators still saw Democrats as favored to win back control of the U.S. Senate. Trump, they said, was simply too terrible of a candidate not to hurt Republicans up for re-election in a year when the map of open seats was unfavorable for them. They were wrong. By nominating spectacularly inept candidates at every turn, Democrats lost states they were sure they’d win six months ago — including Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. Their failure to capitalize upon this year’s opportunities means they’re awhile off from retaking the majority, as electoral maps for the next two Senate elections in 2018 and 2020 are far less friendly to Democrats.
63 — Margin of House Seats Lost by Obama Era Democrats
When President Obama took the oath of office in 2009, Democrats enjoyed a 257-seat majority in Congress. In January 2017, they will be a distant electoral minority with just 194 seats. Obama will leave office having been at least partly responsible for Congressional Democrats losing, on the whole, 63 seats.
12 — Margin of Senate Seats Lost by Obama-Era Democrats
During most of the 111th Congress, Senate Democrats took advantage of a filibuster-proof majority (before Republican Scott Brown’s election in 2010), helping to shepherd Obama’s agenda through his first two years of office. Today, Democrats hold just 48 seats in the Senate, and they remain a five-vote minority when accounting for Vice President-elect Pence’s tiebreaking vote. Obama will exit the White House with 12 fewer Democratic allies in the upper chamber than he had during his first two years as president.
41 — Percentage of Americans Who Still Support Obamacare
Nearly seven years after it passed without a single Republican vote, Obamacare is incredibly unpopular among American voters. According to a RealClearPolitics average, 40.7 percent of Americans support the law, compared to 48 percent who oppose it. With 4-in-10 Americans disapproving of Obama’s signature legislation, it will go down in history as one of the great political miscalculations of our time.
22 – Number of Guilty Verdicts for Chaka Fattah
Longtime Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) was convicted on all 22 counts brought against him for a variety of crimes ranging from money laundering and bribery to election fraud. Fattah has held public office since 1983, and he’s been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995, where he was regarded as a “rising star,” according to the Washington Post. This week, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
24 – Number of Charges Against Corrine Brown
Another prominent Democratic Congresswoman, Corrine Brown of Florida, received 24 federal indictments this year for alleged conspiracies to profit from a non-profit educational organization. Prosecutors claim that Brown took more than $800,000 from the charity for her own benefit, including depositing much of the money in her own bank account and using the rest for perks. Although she is free on a $50,000 bond, Brown lost the Democratic primary to maintain her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ellen Carmichael is a senior writer for Opportunity Lives. Follow her on Twitter @ellencarmichael.