Time is running out for Democrats

First wave of GenZ could greatly impact election

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Editor-Elect

The Democratic Party has the opportunity to make history. However, the “do-nothing Democrats” also have the opportunity to completely blow it.

They have to make up their minds, and hopefully make the right decision.

Right now, Democrats can go one of two ways. They can elect a more moderate candidate as their nominee, or they can elect a more liberal, progressive candidate. The second option has a greater chance of success.

The moderate candidates make up the bulk of the contenders right now — think Mayor Pete, Uncle Joe, Amy and Bloomberg. The more liberal candidates are Bernie and Liz.

If the Democratic Party is looking to attract Republican voters and even Trump supporters, a moderate candidate is the way to do it. The possibility of attracting Trump supporters is slim, so that shouldn’t be the strategy that they used.

No matter what your opinion is of Trump, you have to admit, he has an unmatched ability to create an almost cult-like following. His base of dedicated supporters and voters would pretty much do anything for him, regardless of whether or not they are able to completely articulate their loyalty. Electing a moderate candidate as the Democratic nominee in an effort to win over some Trump supporters is a lost cause.

There are registered Republican voters in this country who do not support Trump, they are definitely out there. If the Dems select a moderate candidate, they could vote blue, but just how many Republican, non-Trump supporters are out there?

According to post-election survey results by the Pew Research Center, only four-percent of Republicans voted for Hillary in the 2016 election, while five-percent of Democrats voted for Trump. When it comes to ideology, the same survey results revealed that overwhelmingly, liberals voted for Hillary, conservatives voted for Trump and moderates went half-and-half.

Americans exhibit extreme party loyalty at the polls. That’s why it’s pointless for Dems to try and elect a primary candidate who will attract Republicans.

Electability is still important for liberal Democrats. Only some states, such as Pennsylvania, require voters to register with a political party, others do not. Therefore, there are no statistics to count how many people in the U.S. registered with either political party. However, Gallup has an ongoing report on the percentage of adults who identify with which parties. Currently, 27-percent of adults identify as Democrats, 30-percent identify as Republicans and the remaining 43-percent identify as Independents. These numbers are subject to fluctuate greatly as the 2020 election approaches. According to the Pew Research Center, most who identify as Independent do lean either Democrat or Republican, with the slim majority of Independents mostly leaning towards Democrat.

Trump’s loyal following and his ability to take advantage of the electoral college are not assets exclusive to Republicans. In order for Democrats to have a fighting chance to steal Trump’s second term, they need to play a similar game.

It’s a well-known fact, and also backed up by the Pew Research Center, that the millennial generation is the most liberal generation yet, and most likely to vote Democrat. In 2020, the first wave of Generation Z will take to the polls, while there’s little research on this generation’s political leanings, if they follow in the millenials’ footsteps, they could end up pulling the election one way or another.

The Democratic Party’s best chance for a successful 2020 election bid is to throw their support behind a more progressive, left-leaning candidate. In 2018, Democrats gained majority in the House of Representatives. This election saw the highest turnout for a midterm election since 1914, with the biggest increase in the 18-29 year-old category, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The election resulted in one of the most diverse congresses to ever work on Capitol Hill, and it includes Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who are all some of the most liberal voices within the party.

This was a huge win for the party, but with a moderate nominee, the energy from this election could quickly fizzle out.

The party’s best shot at winning this election is going to be drawing in enthusiastic voters and by nominating someone who stands in the middle — this won’t happen. A candidate who is lukewarm on issues of political debate stands no chance against Trump.

The Democratic Party needs to tap into the demographic of young liberals and get them fired up and excited to get to the polls.