Democrats plan multi-year strategy to recapture seats

WASHINGTON – Democrats need to map out a multi-year election strategy to maintain the White House, recapture seats in Congress and in state legislatures and rebuild their bench of candidates, according to a task force formed after the party’s dismal 2014 election.

Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was releasing a 19-page report today that describes the party’s work to rebuild after massive losses in the midterm elections during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The report, provided to The Associated Press, says the party needs to develop and deploy a “clear, values-based message,” strengthen state parties, protect the right to vote, prepare for redistricting after the 2020 elections and recruit a new generation of leaders.

“We needed to do a deep dive about what structural changes we could make at the national party to address a broad range of things,” said Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, in an interview.

Called the Democratic Victory Task Force, the working group released interim findings last February and the DNC has begun implementing several steps to improve. Some of the changes include renegotiating contracts to help state parties, spending more money on the party’s data infrastructure and bolstering its training programs. Implementing these recommendations can be difficult. The Republican National Committee produced an autopsy in the aftermath of the 2012 elections and the party has struggled to address one of its policy recommendations on immigration.