Panicky Dems Switch Tack
Party prepares to dig in for brutal midterm battles
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2010 3:30 AM CST
"Every state is now in play," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) warned after the GOP win in Massachusetts.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Democrats shaken by the Massachusetts defeat are scrambling to find a strategy to avoid being swept out of office on a wave of populist anger this fall. Lawmakers agree that the party should switch its focus to jobs and the economy—but there's little consensus on the particulars. "Every state is now in play," warns Sen. Barbara Boxer, who faces a tough reelection battle in California.

Some Democrats favor jettisoning agenda items such as cap-and-trade to win over independent voters, while other fret about further alienating liberals. Party officials say that aggressively drawing contrasts with the Republicans is likely to be the key to survival for many candidates. "This is not going to be a campaign where we're going to see people talking in lofty terms about the future of the country," one Democratic strategist tells the Washington Post.