With 2018 looming, Democrats divided on their core message

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The current travails of the Trump White House have created an unusual dilemma for the Democratic Party.

Democratic officials, activists and party leaders are struggling to agree on a core message with an eye on cutting into Republican numbers in the 2018 midterm elections.

This debate is playing out in public; some want to focus exclusively on policy issues like health care while others want to emphasize the swirling allegations of Russian government collusion with the Trump campaign and rally around calls for impeachment.

Party leaders admit that their message and strategy are still a work in progress. National Party Chairman Tom Perez says the party needs to "up its game" after a loss to Trump eight months ago that most in the party simply did not see coming.

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