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Democrats diagnose what went wrong in 2014 at winter meeting


Democrats are diagnosing what went wrong last year with its messaging during the midterms, and the party is figuring out ways to improve its performance in future elections at the national and state levels.

At its annual winter meeting, the Democratic National Committee released the preliminary findings of its Democratic Victory Task Force, which DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced following the midterms. Some areas the task force targeted for immediate improvement are strengthening partnerships with state parties and expanding the right to vote.

The nine-page report notes a specific area of weakness for the party is that it lacks a singular narrative.

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“… There is no single narrative that unites all of our work and the issues that we care about as a community of Democrats,” the DNC’s report states. “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.”

Republicans captured total control of Congress last November, and the party took the Senate for the first time in eight years and expanded its majority in the House. The party also won governorships in Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois.

The DNC’s report, helmed by a 10-member group, also looks at the Republican’s current “stranglehold on state houses, governorships and congressional seats,” and notes Democrats need to grow during the next redistricting, which is set to happen after the 2020 elections.

“We are Democrats because we believe in an economy where hard work is rewarded, and because we are focused on building a stronger and more secure middle class,” Wasserman Schultz said about the report. “We have a lot of work ahead, but we know that when Democrats win elections, the middle class wins.”

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 2/20/15, 7:37 PM ET

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Democrats diagnose what went wrong in 2014 at winter meeting