Defeated Democrat issues warning to his party

Outgoing Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) offers advice to his party and warns against progressive policies such as "Medicare for all" when trying to win over red states in the 2020 election.

Posted: Dec 30, 2018 3:03 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2018 3:24 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: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
Warren81421
Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
Perry321
Van Wert320
Henry290
Paulding230
Adams221
Pike220
Vinton222
Jackson180
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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