Democrats roll out the 'Bernie Band-Aid Tour' for 2018

The sad sack Democratic Party, lacking any viable plan for 2018, is once again featuring Bernie Sanders, who is headlining a six-day, seven-state "unity" tour labeled "Come Together and Fight Back," reports.

Underlining the Democrats' desperation, one Clinton supporter says running Sanders out as the face of the party is the "Bernie Band-Aid tour: We'll slap him over our problems but fundamentally change nothing."

Sanders is joining new Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez on the cross-country tour that began Monday in Maine's Second District, where Donald Trump won his sole Maine electoral vote, and will continue to red states such as Florida, Kentucky, and Utah. 

Jim Stinson at writes:

The decision to highlight the Democrats' new subservience to the far-left by parading Sanders on a tour is not the only remarkable aspect of the Monday kickoff. The Democrats chose to start their tour in Maine. The normally liberal-to-moderate state has a famous independent streak, but now Democrats are worried if voters in the Pine Tree State are leaning away from them entirely.

Stinson quotes Corey Lewandowski, a "New England native" and former Trump campaign manager, on the stakes for the Democrats:

If [the Democrats] can't win there, there is no path forward.

Noting that Republicans face an uphill battle in most of New England, Stinson adds that "in Maine, Democrats have not won a statewide election in more than 10 years."

But Maine is not like the rest of New England, experts note. It is famously independent, and the rural part of Maine – and there is a lot of it – is not liberal. Still, the addition of [Republican Rep. Bruce] Poliquin to the New England congressional delegation in 2014 rattled Democrats.

In 2016, Poliquin held on to his seat, despite a fierce campaign to unseat him.

A Maine Republican Party official says the Democrats "have a very weak bench" and that he "believes the far-left nature of Sanders and Perez will turn off voters outside of Portland, Maine's largest city."

Maine's Second District is but one small piece of a steep uphill climb for the Democrats in 2018.  Jeremy Carl at points to Roll Call's early 2018 election guide, which shows 212 "safe" Republican House seats and 179 "safe" Democrat House seats. 

As Carl observes, the Democrats would have to hold all of their so-called tossup, lean, and likely seats and take all of the Republicans' tossup and lean seats, and then add eight of the thirteen Republican likely seats, in order to eke out a one-vote margin of 218 House seats.

Mr. Carl continues to the Senate:

But compared to their chances of taking the Senate, the House looks like electoral paradise for the Democratic party.

Morning Consult has just released its 50 state polls, and it underscores the enormous shift that would have to happen for the Democrats to win that chamber.

... Electorally, the GOP is in a fantastic spot, having to defend just nine of the 34 Senate seats up in 2018, and in each of those nine seats, the GOP candidate is listed as favored to win by arguably the top three major race handicappers (Cook, Rothenberg, Larry Sabato).

Carl analyzes various individual Senate races and concludes:

The media and Democrats will attempt to scare the GOP into fearing electoral devastation with each Trump misstep or weak result in a special election. But the party should ignore the naysayers – even with political headwinds, a highly favorable map means they are in a very strong position heading into 2018, as long as the party keeps faith with its voters. The GOP needs to stop getting spooked by its electoral shadow and start delivering the change it has promised voters for the better part of a decade.

The Democrats are counting on Mr. Sanders to keep their base fired up, and they are counting on the Republicans to drop the ball on their promises.  Eighteen months is a long time in politics, but the Democrats have yet to demonstrate any viable plan to recover from their 2016 and prior defeats.