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Tipsheet

Is the Left Losing Momentum?

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Is there an equilibrium occurring within the Democratic Party? Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others that form the left-wing of the party have injected enthusiasm and cash into the apparatus. These folks also keep other members of the party accountable. Yet, liberals are not the majority of the American electorate. They’re the smallest share, and for a good reason. The Liberal agenda is exclusive to the college-educated elite who think that pronouns are a top concern. We’re in a recession. No one cares about that or global warming. Raising taxes isn’t a smart economic policy in these dismal times either, and defunding the police during a violent crime spike isn’t smart either. No one has liked the far-left’s penchant to spit in the face of cops. Only white woke progressives are gung-ho about these soft-on-crime initiatives. Was the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin not a warning flare to these people? The city’s overwhelmingly liberal voter base tossed this guy for letting the city become a crime-ridden hellhole.

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The truth is that the Left doesn’t understand the real needs of the American people; they never have. How can snobby people who have never left the cities know what’s going on? They don’t. As the economy goes down the toilet, AOC has a House Oversight hearing about white supremacy markings used in the marketing materials for firearms manufacturers. Is this what we’re wasting our time on? And what about the January 6 Select Committee? No one is watching it because it’s inside the beltway nonsense that doesn’t get inflation under control, create jobs, or improves business-creating environments.

The incoming red wave has dominated the 2022 midterm narrative, but the moderate wing of the Democratic Party has fought back, and they’re winning. Axios did a deep dive and found, among other things, that pro-Israel PACs have spent big league on primary races and have clinched significant wins. Also, no shocker here, but Democrats need moderates if they have a prayer at winning anything outside the cities. Winning just the cities isn’t enough to carry any Democrat the promised land in a national election (via Axios):

The biggest moderate victories include a narrow win by Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, the only pro-life Democrat in the House; a come-from-behind victory by Ohio Rep. Shontel Brown over progressive favorite Nina Turner; and a landslide defeat for former Rep. Donna Edwards against Glenn Ivey in Maryland.

Progressives can tout a few key wins. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman comfortably defeated Rep. Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania's Senate primary, though he rejected the progressive label during the campaign. In Oregon, attorney Jamie McLeod-Skinner ousted Rep. Kurt Schrader, but faces a challenging fight in the general election.

Between the lines: Pro-Israel groups have emerged as key bulwarks for the Democratic center, spending aggressively in primaries on behalf of moderate-minded candidates.

Candidates backed by AIPAC's new super PAC or the recently formed Democratic Majority for Israel have won nine of 12 closely contested Democratic primaries where they spent money for favored candidates.

The big picture: Gallup data from last year show that the Democratic party’s voters are almost equally split between moderates and liberals: 51% of Democrats identify as liberal, while 49% identify as either moderate or conservative.

But liberals are gaining ground: In 2011, just 39% of Democrats identified as liberal while 59% considered themselves moderate or conservative.

The bottom line: Liberals make up the smallest share of the electorate. Gallup found a 37% plurality of voters ID as conservative, 36% as moderate and 25% as liberal.

That means Republicans can play to their base and still manage to win elections with a minority of moderates, but Democrats need moderate support to win outside the bluest parts of the country.

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So, maybe 2022 will be a learning period for the Left. The House is gone. The GOP could retake the Senate. It will be a good year for the Republicans regardless of these wins by the moderate wing of the Democratic Party in the primary rounds. What happens next is what’s more interesting. Across the pond, the UK Labour Party toyed with left-wing politics. It destroyed them in 1983. After that general election, the remarkable transformation in Labour began. Those spearheading the effort knew the party had to purge its left-wing elements, modernize, and moderate to win. It took over a decade, but by 1997—Labour was primed to win big, and they did. Will that happen to Democrats here? We’ll see. The American Left has a gross addiction to wanting to be right. That often doesn’t play well when governing or winning people over. As of now, progressives would rather be right and lose everything than take some humble pie and jettison the bizarre portions of their platform. I wouldn’t bet on it, and that’s okay with me. I want 2024 to be even better for the GOP.

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