top of page

How the DFL Can Inspire Congressional Dems

Updated: Mar 25

In light of the Supreme Court’s array of Conservative decisions spanning from denying Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program to deterring affirmative action, Democrats need to reassess strategies. Currently, the Democratic-Farmers-Labor Party (DFL) in Minnesota has been one of the most aggressive Democrat state apparatuses in the country. Since the November 2022 elections, the DFL has maintained a “trifecta” of power that grasps that of the governorship, state senate and state house. With all the drama and partisan folly that has converged in Washington through 2023, it seems it would be in the Congressional Democrats' best interest to take notice of the DFL’s progress if they want to maintain their majority in 2024. 


The DFL has been very busy the last six months, embarking on a quest for legislative prowess. They have taken the initiative in passing many progressive reforms in the state. This includes ensuring access to abortion in Minnesota state law, legalizing recreational marijuana, passing the largest transportation bill since 2008, adopting a new child tax credit, approving complimentary breakfast and lunch in all public schools, and allowing felons to vote following their prison sentences. All these policies were initiated within six to seven months, leaving a trail of impressive legislative accomplishments.


That’s not all. Tim Walz (D), the Minnesota governor, and his Democrat colleagues have dished out policy goals that follow a populist narrative: one focusing on the working class and any marginalized groups hampered or neglected by the government. This has manifested in legislation that allows immigrants easier access to driver’s licenses. Minnesota Democrats have also enabled gender-affirming care, allowing children to undergo treatment as long as they receive appropriate oversight from a medical professional. 


However, acts like these are not always popular with the more Conservative base. As of May 25, 2023, the latest Thinking Minnesota poll has shown varying dissatisfaction amongst the local constituency. Fifty percent of respondents stated a form of disapproval, arguing that the state is on the “wrong track.” Only around 37% believe the recent legislation is “excellent” or “good.” Governor Walz’s approval rating is around 54%, which makes him only the 30th highest-ranked governor in the United States.


Despite these mediocre to poor conditions, the state has consistently voted for a Democrat as governor since 2011 and hasn’t voted for a Republican for President since 1972, when Nixon got the vote. The underlying factor here is that Minnesota has a dense rural landscape in contrast to Minnesota’s top five largest cities, which house around one-fifth of the state's entire population. This is a stark disparity that leads to relatively close elections, even with the historical Democratic leaning. So is it not surprising that the polling numbers lean toward an early onset of dissatisfaction with the recent legislative reforms.  


Unsurprisingly, Democrats in Washington have seen an even greater lack of approval from the masses, all while gridlocked by Republicans in the House. To combat this, Democrats need to take an assertive stance. This may include mirroring DFL policies like complimentary breakfast and lunches for public schools, legalization of marijuana, or progressive taxes and tax rebates based on income.


The economy is the biggest issue, based on the most recent polling. If Biden and the Democrats want to acquire another term, then the economy is the way to go. The DFL has hit the ground running with legislation that encapsulates economic and social reform. Even if all of it isn’t received with open arms, the one thing the Democrats need to do is take a chance. Assertiveness has been an absent quality of the Democratic party for some time, and the DFL may be that spark that lights the fire beneath.  


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.


Sources


Glahn, Bill. "Most Minnesota Voters Think That the State Is on the 'Wrong Track.'" American Experiment, 25 May 2023, https://www.americanexperiment.org/most-minnesota-voters-think-that-the-state-is-on-the-wrong-track/


"Population Data: Our Estimates." Minnesota State Demographic Center. Aug. 2022, https://mn.gov/admin/demography/data-by-topic/population-data/our-estimates/


Simon, Alexandra, and Connor O'Neal. "These Are the Bills Passed in the 2023 Minnesota Legislative Session." Kare11, 24 May 2023, https://www.kare11.com/article/news/politics/bills-passed-in-the-2023-minnesota-legislative-session/89-4901c0c4-2865-47e0-b3f0-10f495d9a0ad

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page