the coming progressive explosion in the democratic party

Right now, it is clear that the Republican party is experiencing internal conflict. But I believe that there is a coming blow up in the Democratic party. Maybe not this cycle, but definitely by 2020. Right now, the Clinton-Sanders competition is being framed as Clinton’s successful defense against a challenge from the base.

There’s a good chance that this narrative will turn out to be correct. But it overlooks some serious trends that indicate the DLC coalition, Bill Clinton and other centrist Democrats of the 1990s, is slowly losing its grip on the Democratic party, in much the same way that the Nixon-Bush establishment lost its grip in 2016.

For example, look at the Massachusetts’ 2016 Democratic primary. Correctly, it is described as a much needed, but narrow, win for Hillary Clinton. But look at the long term trend:

In sense, 2016 is even worse than it appears in that Hillary Clinton got only 50% of the vote  against a single far left candidate. But the pattern is clear. Massachusetts, the bastion of Democratic party liberalism, is slowly sliding away from the establishment and toward challengers.

I don’t know why. It might be cohort change or a Tea Party style anger toward the establishment. But the trend is clear – the progressives aren’t going to take it anymore. The only question is how long it will be until the storm arrives.

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Written by fabiorojas

March 3, 2016 at 4:03 am

2 Responses

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  1. I think the ‘why’ is because Americans are increasingly rejecting neoliberalism.

    I found this explanation of the move away from neoliberalism rather convincing:



    March 5, 2016 at 3:44 am

  2. This is an interesting argument, but Massachusetts is a biased indicator when 2016 is concerned. Bernie is from neighboring Vermont, which likely gave him an idiosyncratic boost in MA. And in the country as a whole, Hillary looks to be winning in 2016 but lost in 2008. This is obviously confounded by all sorts of factors too, such as Bernie being much further left than Obama, but that would seem to be the most important pattern to explain if arguing that the Dem establishment has gotten weaker against insurgents.


    Andrei Boutyline

    March 6, 2016 at 10:15 pm

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