Democrats hampered by inability to hide their liberalism under Obama
Democrats grew more liberal over the course of President Obama's eight-year presidency, according to an analysis of voter data provided by a leading GOP pollster.Bill Clinton manage to win elections by masking his liberalism using slick language and a tendency to compromise. Obama lacked the ability to compromise and Hillary Clinton came across as extremely liberal. These characteristics came along with a tendency to indifferences to the negative consequences of liberalism on working class voters.
President-elect Trump, a Republican, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton last month by winning more votes in the Electoral College, compensating for his loss in the popular vote. Trump pulled it off by luring blue-collar voters in Pennsylvania and the Midwest that had historically voted Democrat.
Democrats have begun to examine how to win them back. But it could be challenging given that their party is significantly more liberal — and less moderate — than when Obama ran as a post-partisan unifier in 2008.
In 2008, the year Obama was elected, 40 percent of Democrats self-identified as "liberal" on the ideological scale. In 2016, as voters decided on Obama's successor, that number had jumped 10 points, to 50 percent.
Democrats identifying as moderates plummeted eight points, from 47 percent to 39 percent, during the same period.
"Among the overall electorate, the country has remained center-right," Republican pollster David Winston wrote in his post-election report, based on exit polling conducted by the media. "The big change came among Democrats, who have become more liberal."