Sen. Donnelly warns dems about ignoring midwest states in 2020

Senator Joe Donnelly joins The Lead to talk about the government shutdown - and how his party can beat Trump in 2020.

Posted: Dec 30, 2018 4:12 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2018 4:22 PM

Outgoing Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly said Democrats need to be careful in promoting too many progressive ideas in red states like his because they'll "start losing the people in my state."

"Medicare-for-all" is a progressive stance that some Democrats worry could alienate Midwestern voters from the party going into the 2020 presidential election. It has become popular thanks to liberal leaders like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

When asked by CNN's Dana Bash on "The Lead With Jake Tapper" if Democrats could be viable without appealing to interior state votes, Donnelly replied, "I don't know how you do that."

Donnelly said that during President Donald Trump's visits to Indiana in the weeks before the midterms -- in which Donnelly lost his seat -- the President made not voting for Republicans seem like a personal betrayal by voters.

"We have not made enough of a connection ... that the people of my state understand culturally, we (Democrats) want to make sure you succeed," he said.

"But when you talk 'Medicare-for-all' ...you start losing the people in my state," Donnelly added. "When we start talking about, 'Hey, we're going to work together with the insurance companies to lower premiums,' that's what connects."

"The talk on the coasts just doesn't get it done in the middle," he said.

"Medicare-for-all" has become a contentious issue for Democrats as they prepare to assume the majority in January. Some new House Democrats, such as Democratic socialist Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, championed the issue on the campaign trail despite trepidation from other parts of the party. But Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she is open to considering a more public option during the new Congress.

Republicans have seized on the buzzword, arguing that "Medicare-for-all" would threaten the program's availability for seniors. Trump published an op-ed just before the midterms bashing Democrats for threatening to "eviscerate" the program with such an expansion.

Looking ahead to the presidential election, Donnelly cautioned that "who wins the primary is not necessarily the best person in a general election."

While he declined to name a specific candidate he thought would fare best, Donnelly said the ideal candidate would engage directly with people in the interior states on issues such as manufacturing and health care.

They would be the "kind of person who can go into Michigan and go to the auto plant" and have "talked to the workers there, and have talked to the families at the churches and have talked to them about how important it is for their kid to get decent health care," he said.

"People want to make sure they have a good job, decent health care, that they can retire with dignity and that they know that the future is better for their children and grandchildren," Donnelly added. "When we talk about those things, we have success in the Midwest."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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