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Clive Crook

How Democrats Can Survive the Midterms

The party needs to rein in its ambitions and realize that most voters want progress, not transformation.

Do the president and his party expect to win?

Do the president and his party expect to win?

Photographer: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images North America

Democrats have presumably noticed that their prospects in November’s elections aren’t good — but you wouldn’t know it from the way they’re talking to voters. President Joe Biden and his allies proceed as though everything’s under control. Goals and messaging are much as before, and protests from the middle of the electorate are deflected or ignored.

But there is a difference between being resigned to defeat and inviting it. Could Democrats improve their chances, if they decided to try? Maybe, but only if the administration scales back its policy ambitions and aligns them more closely with what it can plausibly achieve.