Where Are All The Democrats?

Too often, Freeport voters go to the polls and find no Democratic candidates to vote for.

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As I have written in The Voice before, Freeport votes for Democrats far more than it votes for Republicans. However, while state- and federal-level Democrats frequently win within the city limits, our city government and county board are led by Republicans and third parties that no one has ever heard of. What could explain this?

One major issue is that the local Democratic Party seems to have squandered its apparent electoral advantage. A political party has no chance of winning elections if it doesn’t recruit candidates to run in races, and the Democrats constantly fail to run candidates against their Republican opponents, even in Freeport districts which arguably lean Democrat. 

Democrats run for less than half of the offices available to them, and have gone multiple years without winning a single seat. Graph by Nick Welch.

In the last ten years, the Democratic Party has never fielded a slate of candidates that was over 50% full. As the graph below shows, there have been many election years where Democrats have not fielded a single candidate. It is baffling that local Democrats have not recruited people to run for office when the data is clear that these races would be at least competitive, and at most tilted in their favor. 

In a town like Freeport which consistently votes for state- and federal-level Democrats, the Democratic Party must be prepared to compete with its Republican competitors. A party that cannot even field candidates to run is a party doomed to remain out of power.

Nicholas Welch is a student at Northwestern University studying political science and sociology. In his free time, Nick reads the news and obsesses over college football.