Former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder spoke in New Hampshire on Friday where he seemed to throw cold water on the idea of a coming “blue wave” this election cycle.
Holder, who has considered mounting a campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was the keynote speaker at the “Politics & Eggs” series hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. The event, convening business leaders and grassroots activists, has long been a staple for aspiring presidential candidates seeking to introduce themselves to the New Hampshire electorate, which, following the Iowa caucuses, casts its primary ballots before any other state.
While discussing his work as chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) – a D.C. based political advocacy group dedicated to “enacting a comprehensive, multi-cycle” Democratic Party redistricting strategy – Holder asserted a “blue wave” was imminent but added that it might not result in legislative victories.
The former attorney general claimed that gerrymandering, the process by which the boundaries of legislative districts are drawn by the party in power, could serve to thwart the “blue wave.”
“You know, we talk about this blue wave,” Holder said. “I think there’s going to be a blue wave, but I think the Democrats should understand that blue wave is going to be running headlong into this gerrymandered system.”
“The question is whether or not that blue wave will actually reach the shore,” he added.
He pointed to the 2017 legislative elections in Virginia, where Democrats ran a concerted, multi-million dollar effort to flip the House of Delegates and came up short, as reason for being cautious.
“There was a 10-point differential between the votes obtained by Republicans and Democrats,” Holder said. “Democrats got 10 percent more votes yet were unable to take the lower house there as a result of the gerrymandered districts.”
“I worry about that happening here,” he stated.
Holder’s remarks come as the Democratic Party has witnessed its lead on the generic congressional ballot evaporate from a 13 point advantage in December of 2017 to within the margin of error.
Since departing the Obama administration, Holder has cultivated an increasingly higher profile with the goal of leading “the legal resistance” to President Donald Trump’s political agenda. Apart from his efforts on behalf of the NDRC, the former attorney general has signed on as an advisor to the California State Legislature in order to help the overwhelmingly Democratic body counter the Trump administration.