Right Hooks

Fewer Democrats Than Ever

Dissatisfaction with both parties continues to grow.

Nate Jackson · Jan. 11, 2016

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.” —Barack Obama, upon securing the Democrat nomination in 2008

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Yes, Obama won re-election, but his two mid-term elections have been disasters for his party. He proved too heavy a load down the ballot, even in off-year elections. And it turns out the blow wasn’t just to elected Democrats around the country, but to registered voters as well. In the latest Gallup survey, “the percentage of U.S. adults identifying as Democrats is now at the lowest point in the past 27 years, down from the prior low of 30% in 2014.” The current tally is just 29%. To be sure, the GOP has its own problems, and Gallup measures its numbers at a paltry 26%, but that’s not a record low for Republicans either. And conservative-leaning voters are less party-loyal than liberals.

According to Gallup, “The rise in political independence is likely related to Americans’ frustration with party gridlock in the federal government. In the past several years, dissatisfaction with the government has ranked among the leading issues when U.S. adults are asked to name the most important problem facing the U.S., and was the most frequently mentioned problem in 2014 and 2015. Also, Americans’ favorable ratings of each party are on the lower end of what Gallup has measured over the past few decades.”

So why do voters keep voting for more government?

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