America’s Cycles of Change

The Coming Death of the Democratic Party – Part 1

Tue, 10 January 2017

The Democratic Party in the United States is the oldest and most long-lasting political party on earth, whether one choses to date its actual founding at the beginning of the 19th century by such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the Tammany Hall political organization in New York City, or its successful ascent to national power with the triumph of Democratic voting rights for white males in Andrew Jackson’s victorious election campaign in 1828.

Judged at the most obvious level of the votes and support it can command in national presidential campaigns, the Democratic Party has never been stronger or more popular. In the 2016 election, its nominee Hillary Clinton won more than 2.8 million votes more than her opponent, Republican Donald Trump.

The 2016 outcome marked the sixth time in the past seven presidential elections that the Democratic candidate won the most votes. In 2004 George W. Bush was the only Republican candidate in the past 28 years to win more votes than his Democratic opponent.

And yet despite this apparent dominance in national popularity, the Democrats have managed to lose control of the executive branch for three out of the past seven terms.

Far worse, they have now lost control of the House of Representatives, the lower and more powerful of the two chambers of Congress exercising the fiscal power since 2010 and they have only controlled the House for four years (from 2006 to 2010) out of the past 22 years.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama won both his national victories with commanding margins of first eight million votes in 2008 and then five million votes in 2012. Yet in the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014, his stewardship of the nation was twice humiliatingly repudiated. Republicans won control of both chambers of Congress by wide margins both times.

In 2014, the Democrats’ numbers in both the Senate and the House were reduced to their lowest levels since 1928.

After the 2016 elections, the Democrats were reduced to holding only 13 out of the 50 state governorships across the United States.