By David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau
02/21/2015 12:22 PM
WASHINGTON — Democrats have become a confused political party with a muddled message and an inability to turn out enough of its loyal voters, a party task force charged with how to revive the embattled party said Saturday.
“I am here to tell you the Democratic Party has lost its way,” said Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who presented the report to the Democratic National Committee WINTER.
The report, an effort to dissect the party’s crushing losses in last year’s congressional and gubernatorial elections, found “the circumstances that led to the series of devastating electoral losses did not develop overnight.” Republicans have done a better job adapting to the rapidly changing electoral landscape, it said, particularly in the area of fundraising.
Democrats have lagged in wooing its own, most supportive constituencies, while losing others.
“In order to win elections, the Democratic Party must reclaim voters that we’ve lost, including white Southern voters,” the report said. But the party also has to “excite key constituencies such as African American women and Latinas.”
Beshear talked tough about the DNC shortcomings. “This should be the time for Democratic leaders to rise up to the forefront as defenders of the people and we think we have,” he said.
But, he said, “the American people by their votes don’t agree with us.”
The Democratic Party, he added, “has too often allowed its message to become muddled.”
DNC members, wrapping up a three-day winter meeting Saturday at a Capitol Hill hotel, had mixed reactions to the findings.
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