Raw Data: Democrats Identifying Mostly as “Liberal” These Days

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Over at the New York Times, Nikil Saval asks, ‘Who Wants to Be ‘Liberal’ Anymore?” According to Pew Research, here’s the answer:

Nearly half of millennial Democrats are willing to identify themselves as liberal, and the overall share of Democrats who call themselves liberal has been rising steadily since 2000.

The question Saval is asking is at least as old as the 60s, maybe older (though I’m too lazy to check): is the label “liberal” so associated with mainstream Democrats that it’s anathema to young lefties? Back then, the Vietnam War turned young activists against big labor and establishment Democrats, represented by people like Hubert Humphrey, Robert McNamara, George Meany, and so forth. Today, we have a new generation of Bernie admirers who feel the same way about contemorary Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, and John Kerry—and sometimes even Barack Obama, who doesn’t always earn a pass for being the first black president.

So in 50 years we’ve gone from the SDS to Chapo Trap House, which may or may not be an improvement. But it’s nothing new. In the meantime, whether you want to call it liberalism or progressivism or anything else, Democrats have gotten a lot more friendly toward it over the past decade.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate