5 Political Moves to Maintain the Majority

Power is the best leverage for gaining more power. Former congressional majority leader Tom Delay understood this. He used his power both at the local and federal level to change the rules of the game to benefit his party. The Democratic party now has a historic opportunity to pass strategic legislation which could help cement and expand their majorities.
  • Representation for DC: Currently Washington DC is unrepresented in Congress. A recent effort to give DC the vote has stalled due to an issue with a gun control amendment, but it should pass soon. DC is overwhelmingly Democratic, and it would add one permanently Democratic seat to Congress. It would temporarily create a safe Republican seat, but that would be up for reassignment like all other congressional seats after the 2010 census.
  • Increase Funding for the Census: The census decides how many congressional seats each state receives and affects how they are redrawn. Homeless, poor, and minorities all tend to be under counted, live in Democratic areas, and vote Democratic. It is to the majority's advantage to maximize the number of people counted. For Democrats, every dollar spent on the census is money well spent.
  • Early Voting/ Absentee Voting: Democrats have been fighting to make it easier to vote, and Republicans have been trying to stop them. Shift workers and college students have strong Democratic leanings and also have trouble voting on election day. The Congress could pass a law to pay for states to run elections only if they offer some form of no excuse early voting.
  • Ex-Offenders Enfranchisement: There are wildly different rules governing former criminal enfranchisement across the 50 states. Some have a lifetime ban on voting while others only disenfranchise convicted criminals until they have completed their punishment. Roughly 4 million ex-felons who are now out of prison are barred from voting. The vast majority would likely be Democratic voters. (Changing state laws on ex-offender enfranchisement would be difficult at the federal level)
  • Universal Health Care: In the fight against “Hillarycare,” William Kristol urged conservatives to kill universal health care, not because it would be a disaster, but because it would be a success. If the government offered a useful service like quality affordable health care to millions of Americans, it could dramatically change America's relationship to government. If people see government as a helpful, it would be devastating to conservatism.

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