While the media and voters are focused squarely on the presidential race, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan noted that Democrats up and down the ballot will need support in 2016 if the party hopes to enact an agenda after the election.
Lujan, speaking in an interview for C-SPAN’s Newsmakers that will air Sunday, is in charge of Democrats’ efforts to gain seats in the House of Representatives next year. The party would need to gain 30 seats to retake the House majority after winning only 188 seats (the lowest total in generations) in 2014.
“We need to make sure that … we make the case very clear, that it’s Democrats who have the backs of the American people,” said Lujan, a fourth-term congressman from New Mexico.
“No matter what the numbers are with Democrat pickups in the Congress this cycle in 2016, we need to make sure that we maximize them,” Lujan said, in response to a question about what a future Democratic president might be able to accomplish in the event Democrats don’t also win the House. House Republicans have consistently stymied President Obama’s agenda since taking control of their chamber in the 2010 elections. What’s more, the House map is structurally tilted against Democrats: The party won the popular vote in 2012 but remained 17 seats shy of the majority after that election.