Even liberal groups can read polls showing national Democrats are far too radical

James Carville
James Carville speaks at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Lynne Sladky/AP

Even liberal groups can read polls showing national Democrats are far too radical

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National Democratic Party officials should wake up and get real.

When a left-leaning group studying survey results concludes that the national Democratic Party is “out of touch” on priorities, ideology, and values, party officials should finally pay heed. The survey is well crafted and quite instructive. Its findings are compelling.

The group that conducted the survey, Third Way, describes itself as “center-left.” The “left” is key: Third Way is a strong defender of Obamacare, supports “abortion rights,” gun control, and liberal immigration policies, among other standard-issue Democratic positions.

Third Way’s new report, however, isn’t advocacy for its own positions, but straightforward reporting of what surveyed Americans say. And what they say is that the “Democratic Party brand” is in deep trouble.

First, the survey confirms multiple other studies showing that the public right now is much more concerned about inflation and the economy than it is about abortion or climate change. The public is overwhelmingly disposed to think Republicans would handle inflation and the economy better than Democrats do. But that’s just a start. The second and third most important issues to voters polled are immigration and crime — and again, by margins of more than 20 percentage points, far more voters trust Republicans than Democrats on those issues, too.

For national Democrats, it gets even worse than that. On a 0-to-10-point scale, with 0 being most liberal and 10 being most conservative, the average of all responses is at 5.6, meaning Americans think of themselves as leaning slightly toward conservatism. When asked to assess where each party stands on that same spectrum, voters put Republicans only 1.7 points away from themselves, while they put Democrats 2.6 points further to the Left than themselves. Even among self-described “swing voters,” that cohort rates Republicans closer (by .7 points) to their positions than they rate Democrats.

Likewise on specific values that voters hold dear. Only 43% say they perceive Democrats as valuing hard work, but 58% say Republicans do. Just 46% see Democrats as patriotic, whereas 56% see Republicans that way. Only 44% believe Democrats “look out for the middle class,” whereas a majority, 53%, say Democrats are “too woke.”

On the latter, this validates what veteran Democratic consultants James Carville and Ruy Texeira, among others, have been saying for more than 18 months. For at least that long, Carville has been saying that “wokeness is a problem,” and even proud left-wing journalist Kevin Drum (who long wrote for the leftist Mother Jones magazine) wrote in July 2021 that “[T]he truth is that the Democratic Party has been pulled far enough left that even lots of non-crazy people find us just plain scary.”

The American public is right. The national Democratic Party’s support for a chaotic, wide-open southern border, for defunding police, for inflationary government giveaways, for forcing girls to let biological boys into their locker rooms, for pushing sex-change treatment for minors, for teaching sexually explicit material to first graders, and for investigating parents as “domestic terrorists” just for speaking up at school board meetings, is all rather frightening. So is their war against domestic energy production, their yen for higher taxes, and their weaponizing the IRS with 87,000 more agents — 14 times as many for “enforcement” as for an IRS help desk that right now only answers the phone 10% of the time.

If national Democrats don’t move a lot closer to the political center in policy and attitudes, they may find themselves in the political wilderness for a long, long time. And they will well deserve it.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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