Broadly speaking, Democrats had an underwhelming election in November. While they managed (maybe?) to pull off the big one, they came up rather short compared to what the polls predicted in other areas. Some political experts were betting hard that Democrats would dramatically increase their House majority and steal away the Senate along with drumming Trump out of the White House in an epic landslide.
None of that came to pass.
Indeed, when Nancy Pelosi’s Congress is sworn in next month, she will preside over a much smaller majority than she has now. The Senate is still up for grabs, but it’s very unlikely that Democrats will win both runoff races in Georgia. As for the White House, well, Biden apparently won…but this was no landslide.
Some Democrats have – correctly, we imagine – blamed the socialist, radical wing of the party for these deflated results. Lawmakers like Abigail Spanberger, who narrowly held onto her seat, said she never wanted to hear the phrase “Defund the Police” come out of another Democrat’s mouth. But while it’s almost certain that these radical ideas cost moderates their seats in swing districts, a new report from the Heartland Institute shows that 2020 was actually a banner year for far-left socialists.
Fox News reports:
The analysis, “Socialist Watch,” conducted by researchers for the Illinois-based think tank’s Stopping Socialism project, evaluated 266 races in 29 states, plus Washington, D.C. It tracked 200 state races, 60 U.S. House seats, and six U.S. Senate seats.
The seats the researchers tracked were endorsed by three leftist or socialist groups: “Democratic Socialists of America,” “Progressive Democrats of America,” and “Our Revolution,” a nonprofit organization that advocates for the policies of Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Uncontested races aside, “socialist or far-left progressive candidates won by an average of more than 25 percentage points, indicating clearly socialist and progressive groups targeted during the primaries districts that they knew Democrats would win the general election,” the report from the conservative think tank states.
In other words: In districts where there was absolutely no chance of a Republican winning in the first place, socialist groups made hay by replacing moderate Democrats with radical challengers. How this benefits the party as a whole is a matter of some mystery, but it gives socialists like Bernie Sanders and The Squad something to crow about. Their voices inside the party will be louder and stronger than ever.
Our initial reaction is that this self-cannibalism will destroy the Democratic Party in short order. On the other hand, we’re continually surprised by how much traction the insane ideas of the far left have gained in the mainstream. We’re going to press pause on our celebrations for now.