After yet another wave of GOP victories in the recent elections, it is time for the Democratic Party to face the facts.

We are losing.

Yet, some scoff at the idea, especially with the 2016 presidential election favoring a Democratic win. However, across the country, the Democratic message is being drowned in a red sea of Republican-controlled states.

ADVERTISEMENT

Democrats have done well in past two presidential races, but when it comes to the federal, state and local level, we are getting crushed.

Shockingly, Democrats are at our lowest numbers since the Hoover administration. That means 1928, or almost 90 years ago. Since 2010, we have lost 69 U.S. House seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 912 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers, and 12 governorships. Republicans now hold 33 vs. 16 state house chambers, 35 vs. 14 state senate chambers, 32 vs. 18 governorships and the majority in both the U.S. House (246 vs. 188) and U.S. Senate (54 vs. 44).

So why is the Democratic Party having such a hard time reaching the heartland of America? The recent Kentucky gubernatorial race offers a good narrative. The Democratic candidate for governor thought he had an easy path to the governor's office. He was ahead in the polls against a novice Tea Party Republican whom even the Republican establishment thought would lose. Yet the Republican won by standing against Planned Parenthood and gay marriage. The Democratic Governors Association blamed the loss on “Trumpmania," but it was more about moral values, such as abortion, an issue that has left the Kentucky State House as the only legislative chamber in the south with Democratic control. A change of just five seats in the Kentucky State House could end Democratic control in the South.

Regardless, the Democratic Party continues to embrace a losing strategy that represents only one wing of its party. As the Democratic National Committee seemingly moves further, and uncompromisingly, to the left on abortion, its members leave behind millions of men and women who would otherwise vote Democratic were the party not so hell bent on raising abortion to a non-negotiable sacrament. That is not a winning strategy.

Opposition to abortion is no minor disagreement. For many, it is a make or break issue, so if the Democratic Party hopes to reclaim lost territory, it is going to have to open up the big tent to acknowledge the fact that not all Democrats are on board with abortion on demand, late-term abortions, and selling fetal body parts.

Democrats pride themselves on inclusiveness until it comes to ideological differences on issues such as abortion. They have to abandon this purist approach and show the country that we can work together to manage our philosophical and sociological differences while remaining united under the Democratic banner.

The pro-life wing of the party has been severed. If we are going to win back middle America, the wound must be repaired. Otherwise, we will stay on the ground while the Republicans continue to soar through the heartland picking up Democratic votes and Republican majorities along the way.

Day is executive director of Democrats for Life.