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Academic Survey About Split in Democratic Party

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  • College Park, MD
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    Hello!

    I am a doctoral student studying social psychology at the University of Maryland looking for people who identify as Democrat or as leaning Democrat for my dissertation study on the current state of the Democratic party, and perceptions of a split in the group. The study is limited to participants 18+ (consistent with the voting age).

    The survey asks questions about your attitudes toward specific goals of the Democratic party, your attitudes toward the Democratic party in general, and how you feel about potential opportunities for other parties.

    You can complete the study here: https://go.umd.edu/democratsplit

    If you have any questions, you can contact me at mdugas@umd.edu

    Thanks!

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I just took it and I must applaud you for a very well thought out survey and would encourage all of our members to take a few minutes out of their day to complete it.

    Best of luck to you throughout the PhD process.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    This would be an interesting thread to build on, as well.


    In short - I think we Democrats continue to shoot ourselves in the foot because a certain faction of the party continuously allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good in election after election.

    We do this by either not voting at all or by casting a protest vote for a candidate who stands zero chance of winning. Then we bitch and moan when Republicans win without ever taking responsibility for being part of the reason why Republicans are in power.

    I have almost come to convince myself that some so called liberals would rather be out of power because then they can always complain about things without ever being held responsible if their policy ideas don't actually work. It's easy to be "for" something when you're not in power because you can't be held accountable if those ideas wind up making things worse.

  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Well thought out survey, hope it does some good.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I took the survey. And of course I agree with Jared's comments. I'll elaborate later.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    This would be an interesting thread to build on, as well.


    In short - I think we Democrats continue to shoot ourselves in the foot because a certain faction of the party continuously allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good in election after election.

    We do this by either not voting at all or by casting a protest vote for a candidate who stands zero chance of winning. Then we bitch and moan when Republicans win without ever taking responsibility for being part of the reason why Republicans are in power.

    I have almost come to convince myself that some so called liberals would rather be out of power because then they can always complain about things without ever being held responsible if their policy ideas don't actually work. It's easy to be "for" something when you're not in power because you can't be held accountable if those ideas wind up making things worse.

    In watching the news on the Montana election of Gianforte, few TV pundits said anything about the candidate Gianforte beat...Rob Quist. Democrats blame all the outside money and the late support from the DNC for the loss. The money was a part of it, but Quist never polled well from the get go. You could say his "baggage" was tiny in the eyes of the idealistic Democrats who hand picked him to run against Gianforte because he had no political experience or ties to Washington...just a very good and well liked folk singer. However, for Republicans that baggage was as big as Melania Trump's mountain of baggage for her overseas trip. The Rolling Stone interviewed Montanans before the election on what they thought of Quist:

    "A Gianforte supporter who sports a gray mustache says he can't back "that Quist" because he's a "two-bit musician" and "a deadbeat," adding, "He doesn't pay his taxes. He's living off Social Security. How's he supposed to take care of the rest of us?"

    The TV ads hit a similar theme:

    "Over dark music, one ad intones that Quist is "out of tune" with Montana, and tries to hang the Democrats' minority House leader like a millstone around his neck. "Rob Quist talks folky, but his record is more Nancy Pelosi than Montana." Other ads dredge up Quist's past tax troubles. The NRA accuses Quist of backing a gun registry – fighting words in Montana."

    Quist's candidacy became a referendum on Bernie's movement as the two embraced each other and Bernie campaigned for Quist across the state...and against the hated "establishment". A Quist win would show the nation that the Bernie movement was alive and well and ready to take on Washington establishment. It didn't happen and now the blame game is in full force.

    Bernie supporters are exerting their influencing in state, local and federal elections across the country and I commend them for their new found passion. However, they are also turning off much of the middle, that segment of the voting population that calls themselves independent. And they are applying purity tests to the candidates they select with the number one criteria seemingly "no experience in government" plus never worked for a corporation or a bank or profited somehow in the capitalist world.

    Montana's politics hasn't changed much since I grew up there. It always was a state that looked at the candidates through a different lens than the mainstream media. They have a Democratic Senator and a Democratic governor who beat Gianforte in the 2016 election. Rather than looking at the qualities of these fine people and how they got elected in a so called "red state" they went outside the box and picked a pure Bernie liberal with zero political experience. If the Dems had done their homework, they would have known that Vermont style socialism doesn't poll well in Montana as whole.

    Montana Democrats had two other well qualified candidates that in my view would have made a better showing than Quist.

    I only harp on this because the divide in the Democratic Party remains. The die-hard Bernie supporters really believe Bernie could have won and they hate Hillary for it. They haven't done their homework and they don't think critically either.

    If the 2018 election becomes a referendum on the Bernie movement across the country, then at least in states like Montana it could spell another big defeat. Then blame the DNC headed by that "awful Obama establishment guy", Tom Perez.

  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I am a big advocate of open primaries so that both parties can better understand their own voters needs and concerns, perhaps this can better stem the tide of losing local and state wide elections, here in philly we just had a primary election where only 18% of the total electorate turned out to vote, why you ask?, Well after the election the polls suggested that voters were not impressed with any of the candidates, aside from Judges, the top of the ticket was for District Atty. where the incumbent (D) is under indicment with a trial date yet to be set, he declined to run for another term, the winner garnered less than 40% of the Democrat vote, the winner tells his supporters that he won in a landslide with 82% of the electorate not voting , the Democrat to Republicans ratio is 7 to 1 in favor of the democrats, so this is how we get the government we deserve, voter apathy.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    What split? I think democrats are more united than the GOP house, senate, and president are right now. The GOP has splitting hair differences.
  • College Park, MD
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    johnnycee Wrote: I am a big advocate of open primaries so that both parties can better understand their own voters needs and concerns, perhaps this can better stem the tide of losing local and state wide elections, here in philly we just had a primary election where only 18% of the total electorate turned out to vote, why you ask?, Well after the election the polls suggested that voters were not impressed with any of the candidates, aside from Judges, the top of the ticket was for District Atty. where the incumbent (D) is under indicment with a trial date yet to be set, he declined to run for another term, the winner garnered less than 40% of the Democrat vote, the winner tells his supporters that he won in a landslide with 82% of the electorate not voting , the Democrat to Republicans ratio is 7 to 1 in favor of the democrats, so this is how we get the government we deserve, voter apathy.

    Thank you for your reply! I have to agree that the turnouts for most elections are disappointingly low. And, I have to admit, it makes it difficult to understand the implications of various polling and surveys when so many decide not to vote.

  • College Park, MD
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    Dockadams Wrote: What split? I think democrats are more united than the GOP house, senate, and president are right now. The GOP has splitting hair differences.

    That's an interesting point to raise. I often think of the Democratic party as needing to serve a broader coalition of interests than the GOP, making governing/legislating as a Democrat more of a delicate balancing act. However, before Trump won, I think people saw a greater split among the Republicans than the Democrats with the "Never Trump" movement seeming larger than the "Bernie or Bust" movement, with the focus shifting only after Trump pulled through with the win. That said, I think the elections for DNC Chair reaffirmed the notion of a potential split between the "moderates/establishment" and the "left-wing" members of the party.

  • College Park, MD
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    Schmidt Wrote:
    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    This would be an interesting thread to build on, as well.


    In short - I think we Democrats continue to shoot ourselves in the foot because a certain faction of the party continuously allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good in election after election.

    We do this by either not voting at all or by casting a protest vote for a candidate who stands zero chance of winning. Then we bitch and moan when Republicans win without ever taking responsibility for being part of the reason why Republicans are in power.

    I have almost come to convince myself that some so called liberals would rather be out of power because then they can always complain about things without ever being held responsible if their policy ideas don't actually work. It's easy to be "for" something when you're not in power because you can't be held accountable if those ideas wind up making things worse.

    In watching the news on the Montana election of Gianforte, few TV pundits said anything about the candidate Gianforte beat...Rob Quist. Democrats blame all the outside money and the late support from the DNC for the loss. The money was a part of it, but Quist never polled well from the get go. You could say his "baggage" was tiny in the eyes of the idealistic Democrats who hand picked him to run against Gianforte because he had no political experience or ties to Washington...just a very good and well liked folk singer. However, for Republicans that baggage was as big as Melania Trump's mountain of baggage for her overseas trip. The Rolling Stone interviewed Montanans before the election on what they thought of Quist:

    "A Gianforte supporter who sports a gray mustache says he can't back "that Quist" because he's a "two-bit musician" and "a deadbeat," adding, "He doesn't pay his taxes. He's living off Social Security. How's he supposed to take care of the rest of us?"

    The TV ads hit a similar theme:

    "Over dark music, one ad intones that Quist is "out of tune" with Montana, and tries to hang the Democrats' minority House leader like a millstone around his neck. "Rob Quist talks folky, but his record is more Nancy Pelosi than Montana." Other ads dredge up Quist's past tax troubles. The NRA accuses Quist of backing a gun registry – fighting words in Montana."

    Quist's candidacy became a referendum on Bernie's movement as the two embraced each other and Bernie campaigned for Quist across the state...and against the hated "establishment". A Quist win would show the nation that the Bernie movement was alive and well and ready to take on Washington establishment. It didn't happen and now the blame game is in full force.

    Bernie supporters are exerting their influencing in state, local and federal elections across the country and I commend them for their new found passion. However, they are also turning off much of the middle, that segment of the voting population that calls themselves independent. And they are applying purity tests to the candidates they select with the number one criteria seemingly "no experience in government" plus never worked for a corporation or a bank or profited somehow in the capitalist world.

    Montana's politics hasn't changed much since I grew up there. It always was a state that looked at the candidates through a different lens than the mainstream media. They have a Democratic Senator and a Democratic governor who beat Gianforte in the 2016 election. Rather than looking at the qualities of these fine people and how they got elected in a so called "red state" they went outside the box and picked a pure Bernie liberal with zero political experience. If the Dems had done their homework, they would have known that Vermont style socialism doesn't poll well in Montana as whole.

    Montana Democrats had two other well qualified candidates that in my view would have made a better showing than Quist.

    I only harp on this because the divide in the Democratic Party remains. The die-hard Bernie supporters really believe Bernie could have won and they hate Hillary for it. They haven't done their homework and they don't think critically either.

    If the 2018 election becomes a referendum on the Bernie movement across the country, then at least in states like Montana it could spell another big defeat. Then blame the DNC headed by that "awful Obama establishment guy", Tom Perez.

    Thanks for the reply! Yes, seems like there was major overlap in Bernie supporters and enthusiasm for Quist, and a very similar narrative to the one that followed Clinton's loss. I *am* interested in whether the series of Clinton's loss, Perez' win, and Quist's loss is making Bernie supporters even more strident and distanced from "moderate/establishment" Democrats.

  • College Park, MD
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    This would be an interesting thread to build on, as well.


    In short - I think we Democrats continue to shoot ourselves in the foot because a certain faction of the party continuously allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good in election after election.

    We do this by either not voting at all or by casting a protest vote for a candidate who stands zero chance of winning. Then we bitch and moan when Republicans win without ever taking responsibility for being part of the reason why Republicans are in power.

    I have almost come to convince myself that some so called liberals would rather be out of power because then they can always complain about things without ever being held responsible if their policy ideas don't actually work. It's easy to be "for" something when you're not in power because you can't be held accountable if those ideas wind up making things worse.

    Thanks for the reply and comments on the survey! I really appreciate all of this very interesting feedback. After analyzing the results, I'll be sure to post a summary here.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    umddemstudy Wrote:
    Schmidt Wrote:

    Thanks for the reply! Yes, seems like there was major overlap in Bernie supporters and enthusiasm for Quist, and a very similar narrative to the one that followed Clinton's loss. I *am* interested in whether the series of Clinton's loss, Perez' win, and Quist's loss is making Bernie supporters even more strident and distanced from "moderate/establishment" Democrats.

    umddemstudy -- You raise a good question. There certainly is a populist movement against the "moderate/establishment Democrats" of which, as a former precinct chair, I am a part and therefore perhaps biased. I'm doubtful whether the losses you mentioned above made any difference one way or the other. The liberal die hard Bernie supporters are already casting the blame for the Quist loss at the DNC for not being more supportive of Quist. And they truly believe that Bernie could have beaten Trump if the DNC hadn't acted to change the party rules (in their minds) to disadvantage Bernie. The WikiLeaks of the John Podesta e-mails only added fuel to the fire.

    It is only human nature to hold onto one's beliefs in the face of criticism. Nothing the Bernie turned Trump voters hate more than to be told by a Hillary supporter that they were wrong. And ditto for those Bernie supporters who just couldn't get themselves to vote for Hillary and voted for Jill Stein or didn't vote at all in protest. They are wedded to Bernie much the same as some of the Trump supporters are wedded to Trump. When Trump says he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue of New York and still hold his base of supporters, he was right. The same analogy could perhaps be applied to Bernie and his staunchest supporters.

    I looked at the Our Revolution website and don't see anything in there much different from Bernie's stump speeches. Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of the role that technology and robots have had on jobs, nor is there any mention of job retraining programs. Rather it is the same "China Syndrome" that both Bernie and Trump used so effectively in casting blame at China and trade deals. In my opinion (and I have written blog articles on the subject in this website) they both gave the false impression that all trade agreements are bad, especially the TPP; and that by scrapping the TPP, NAFTA and other trade agreements their jobs will be coming back. Trump is finding it hard to live up to his campaign promises in that regard...and so would Bernie if he had been elected. I mention that as just one example...my opinion for sure.

    Nevertheless, I acknowledge that the Bernie movement is alive and well. They have taken over many of the local Democratic Party organizations (including mine in Colorado Springs) and are engaging in activism at a level that I could only dream about as a former precinct chair. I wish them well, but by not engaging in "inclusiveness" except giving it lip service, they are not inspiring the many middle of the roaders to get on board.

    The 2018 election will test how well the Bernie movement sells as populism with a much wider base. I will campaign and support all Democratic candidates at a local level regardless of their prior allegiances. But if they are just answering to the "Our Revolution" platform to the exclusion of the party establishment, then I foresee a tough time for them in attracting and expanding their base to win beyond just the primaries.

    Oh and I should mention again as I have many times in this website. The Republican establishment is absolutely ruthless when it comes to "anything goes" to elect Republicans. They play by different rules...driven by the Kochtopus, PACS and SuperPacs with no scruples. Quist found that out.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Great points Schmidt. I don't suggest we should be like the Republicans but until we can be as effective in winning elections we are not leading. I am for an open dialog between politicians to discuss issues the party should emphasize. Then a path towards getting there. If you can be honest about the party and our losing trends over the last 10 years, it should be acknowledged that we aren't a sound choice for far too many.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    You guys can talk all about that until dooms day; sorry to say, it takes more than Bernie or someone else to undo the GOP and its "dictator". First of all where is the strong message which gets people exited and voting for our cause? It is not there, even Bill Maher kind of laughed at the futile reactions of Pelosi and Schumer. At least Bernie raises his voice and act like he means it. Sorry to say there is not an strong movement against the Trump dictatorship; may be some individuals and the media that's all. Where are all the strong demonstrations?; they had a couple this weekend but even the media was not impressed and did spent little time showing it. Like what was said about the debacle in Venezuela, if things keep going this way we will end up the same, i.e. an "one" party dictorial rule.