Congressional caucus: Democrats need 50-state focus

In the wake of devastating losses in Congress and the White House, Congressional Black Caucus members say Democrats must expand their agenda to include more economic issues and reel in more voters, particularly in the South.

“The South has the greatest opportunity for growth in the Democratic Party than anywhere in the country,” said Mississippi 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a caucus member. “We’d be remiss if we didn’t look to the South and the middle of the country for opportunity … We can’t be a West Coast and East Coast party and win.”…

…“A lot of whites have left the Democratic Party because they feel that we don’t understand their plight and that we’re not willing to fight with them on economic issues just as strongly as we fight on social issues — and that’s legitimate,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Butterfield said it’s important Democrats “recalibrate” their strategy. He said polls show whites, in general, are trending away from the party.

“It’s partly our fault because we’ve allowed it to happen,” he said. “I think we will see a reversal in this trend in the South.”

Clarion Ledger