Radical progressives and socialists in the Democratic Party gained more seats than ever before in Congress and state legislatures in the Nov. 3 elections, but their growing strength has weakened the party, making Democrats less competitive in swing districts.
As a result, while Democratic candidates fared well in reliably left-wing districts, Republicans picked up seats in the U.S. House and state legislatures by defeating Democrats in swing districts. It seems that as the Democratic Party moves further and further left, an increasing number of voters feel left behind and are casting ballots for Republicans.
The big headline out of the elections, of course, is the apparent victory of former Vice President Joe Biden over President Trump. But it’s important to keep in mind that voters perceived Biden as the most moderate Democrat in the race for his party’s presidential nomination.
If Democrats are going to be seen as the party of Lenin, they will likely lose more seats in future elections to Republicans seen as the party of Lincoln.
My colleagues and I recently published a study for StoppingSocialism.com and The Heartland Institute that examined how far-left candidates performed in elections this month.
We identified 266 progressive or socialist candidates running for seats in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House or state legislatures in 29 states and Washington, D.C. We found that socialist or progressive candidates won an overwhelming majority of their races — over 90 percent.
The most significant gains were made at the state legislative level, where we found socialist or progressive candidates lost just eight out of nearly 200 races.
Far-left Democrats also increased their presence in the U.S. House, winning 48 out of 60 races in which they competed.It seems that as the Democratic Party moves further and further left, an increasing number of voters feel left behind and are casting ballots for Republicans.
It seems that as the Democratic Party moves further and further left, an increasing number of voters feel left behind and are casting ballots for Republicans.
These victories marked a significant improvement compared to previous elections. As we revealed in a nearly identical analysis of election results our team conducted in 2018, only about 40 percent of socialist or progressive candidates won their races. The far-left groups we tracked endorsed just 80 legislative candidates at the state and federal level in 2018, compared to 260 this year.
Far-left candidates also won their races by a much greater margin this month. The average far-left candidate we tracked, excluding uncontested races, won by more than 20 percentage points in 2020. In 2018, the candidates we tracked only won by an average of about 2 percentage points.
This puts far-left progressive and socialist Democrats in a position to have an increasingly larger role within the party and in government in 2021 and beyond.
The establishment and socialist wings of the Democratic Party have been locked in a battle over who deserves to be blamed for their disappointing Election Day this month.
After months of predicting a “blue wave” election that leftists hoped would give Democrats control of the U.S. Senate, expand their majority in the House, and capture state legislatures across the country, the party failed on all three counts.
Republicans have already won 50 seats in the U.S. Senate, which means they need to win only one of the two runoff elections scheduled to take place on Jan. 5 in Georgia to keep control of the chamber and block many of Democrats’ most radical proposals, like the Green New Deal and packing the Supreme Court.
Republicans gained several seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the process, have put themselves in an excellent position to recapture the House in 2022.
Republicans also won eight of 11 gubernatorial elections, including in states President Trump lost by a wide margin, like New Hampshire and Vermont.
And Republicans managed to keep control of the vast majority of state legislatures, an important development because in many states legislatures are responsible for drawing congressional districts for future elections.
More centrist members of the Democratic Party, including some in leadership, have argued that the radical agenda proposed by socialist and progressive party members caused significant political harm to the party.
“We should have won big but, you know, the defund-the-police issue, the Green New Deal – those issues killed our members,” one Democratic Party source told Fox News. “Having everybody walk the plank on qualified immunity with the cops. That just hurt a lot of members. No one’s taking responsibility for it.”
Of course, delusional far-left Democrats and their allies have denied any responsibility for the party’s failures. Instead, they say the party’s establishment and centrist wings deserve to be blamed for not embracing socialist policy proposals and making “unforced errors” that cost them votes.
Among the errors highlighted by some far-left groups was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bizarre, completely out-of-touch decision to show off her high-end freezer filled with expensive containers of Jeni’s ice cream during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When Democratic leaders make unforced errors like showing off two sub-zero freezers full of ice cream on national television or cozy up with Wall Street executives and corporate lobbyists while Trump tells voters we are the party of the swamp, it is not surprising that we lose,” reads a post-election memo written by progressive groups, including organizations allied with socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., like the Justice Democrats and Sunrise Movement.
Amidst the squabbling, progressives and socialists have touted significant election wins for far-left candidates as proof that their ideas are popular.
However, the claim that most Americans want government to dramatically increase their taxes and impose socialist policies like the Green New Deal was disproven by Republicans’ strong performance on Election Day.
Our research shows that the far-left has been remarkably effective at pushing out more centrist and establishment incumbents in districts that are already Democratic strongholds. In some cases, incumbents moved further to the left, likely to appease far-left groups and activists.
For more than two years, those of us who support free markets and individual liberty have been warning that the Democratic Party is becoming radicalized by progressives and socialists. The data from our new report provides significant and troubling proof that those warnings were justified.