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Factions in the Democratic Party (United States)

 

Factions in the Democratic Party (United States)

The Democratic Party of the United States is composed of various factions, with some overlap and enough agreement between them to coexist with each other within the party.

Contents

  • Progressive wing 1
  • Liberal wing 2
  • Centrist wing 3
  • Conservative wing 4
  • Libertarian wing 5
  • Grassroots 6
    • Labor unions 6.1
    • Christian left 6.2
    • Secularism 6.3
  • Ethnic minorities 7
    • African Americans 7.1
    • Hispanics 7.2
    • Asian Americans 7.3
    • Muslims 7.4
    • Jews 7.5
    • Native Americans 7.6
  • Overlap 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • External links 11

Progressive wing

Progressives tend to advocate a relatively social democratic agenda.[1] Unifying issues among progressive Democrats include opposition to the War in Iraq, opposition to economic liberalism and social conservatism, opposition to all corporate influence in government, support for universal health care or single-payer health care, revitalization of the national infrastructure and steering the Democratic Party in the direction of being a more forceful party. Compared to other factions of the party, they've been most critical of the Republican Party, and most supportive of direct democracy.

The Paul Wellstone (Minnesota), Barbara Lee (California), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Many progressive Democrats are ideological descendants of the Howard Dean and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; and still others are disaffected former members of the Green Party. This groups consists disproportionately of college-educated professionals.[1] A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that a plurality, 41%, resided in mass affluent households and 49% were college graduates.[2]

Progressive Democratic candidates for public office have had popular support as candidates in metropolitan areas outside the South, and among African-Americans nationwide. Other famous progressives include Eugene McCarthy and Ted Kennedy.

Liberal wing

Liberal Democrats are to the left of centrist Democrats but not as progressive as the Progressive wingers in the party. The liberal faction was dominant in the party for several decades, although they have been hurt by the rise of centrist forces such as President Bill Clinton. Compared to conservatives and moderates, liberal Democrats generally have advocated fair trade and other less conservative economic policies, and a less militaristic foreign policy, and have a reputation of being more forceful in pushing for civil liberties. Many consider the progressive faction to be liberal, but this is refuted by many progressives, because while progressives advocate for progressivism and social democracy, liberals tend to advocate social liberalism.

Prominent liberal Democrats include U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (California), Russ Feingold (Wisconsin), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Tom Harkin (Iowa), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (California).

Centrist wing

Though centrist and center-right Democrats differ on a variety of issues, they typically foster a mix of political views and ideas. Compared to other Democratic factions, they are mostly more supportive of the use of military force, sometimes including the war in Iraq, and are more willing to reduce government welfare, as indicated by their support for welfare reform and tax cuts.

While not representing a majority of the Democratic Party electorate, a decent amount of Democratic elected officials have self declared as being centrists. Some of these Democrats are former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, Senator Mark Warner and, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, and former senator Jim Webb. Vice President Joe Biden and 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton[3][4] are also considered to be part of centrist wing of the democratic party.

The Democratic Leadership Council was a group that supported centrist Democrats and called for the Democratic Party to be the party of centrism.[5]

Conservative wing

Conservative Democrats are Democratic Party members with conservative political views, or with views relatively conservative with respect to those of the national party. While such members of the Democratic Party can be found throughout the nation, actual elected officials are disproportionately found within the Southern states, and to a lesser extent within rural regions of the several states generally, more commonly in the West.

The Democratic Party had a conservative element, mostly from the South and Border regions, into the 1980s. Their numbers declined sharply as the Republican Party built up its Southern base. They were sometimes humorously called "Yellow dog Democrats," or "boll weevils," "Dixiecrats." Nowadays, they are often called a Democrat In Name Only. In the House, they form the Blue Dog Democrats, a caucus of fiscal and social conservatives and moderates, primarily southerners, willing to broker compromises with the Republican leadership. They have acted as a unified voting bloc in the past, giving its forty plus members some ability to change legislation. The Blue Dogs added nine new members as a result of the 2006 midterm elections.[6] Occasionally, the term "conservative Democrat" is also made to describe politicians who are left-of-center on economic issues but conservative on social issues, or communitarians, rather as many "liberal Republicans" are fiscal conservatives.

Prominent communitarian or more conservative Democrats of recent time include Senators Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), and John Breaux (Louisiana); as well as Congressmen Ike Skelton (Missouri), Gene Taylor (Mississippi), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Collin Peterson (Minnesota), and Jim Marshall (Georgia).

Many conservative Southern Democrats defected to the Republican Party, beginning with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the general leftward shift of the party. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Billy Tauzin of Louisiana, Kent Hance and Ralph Hall of Texas, and Richard Shelby of Alabama are examples of this. The influx of conservative Democrats into the Republican Party is often cited as a reason for the GOP's shift further to the right during the late 20th century, as well as the shift of its base from the Northeast and Midwest to the South.

A newly emerging trend is the return of active pro-life Democratic groups and candidates. Some of these candidates have won office or are backed by the party establishment in their state. The largest national pro-life group within the party is the Democrats for Life of America. Pro-life candidate Bob Casey, Jr. (Pennsylvania) was elected as a U.S. Senator in the 2006 midterm elections.

The 2006 Congressional elections also brought to Congress a significant bloc of conservative Democrats who are likely to support protectionist policies.[7]

Libertarian wing

Civil liberties advocates, and people against national debt, also often support the Democratic Party because its positions on such issues as civil rights and separation of church and state are more closely aligned to their own than the positions of the Republican Party, and because the Democrats' economic agenda may be more appealing to them than that of the Libertarian Party.[8]

They oppose gun control, the "War on Drugs," protectionism, corporate welfare, governmental borrowing, and an interventionist foreign policy. Some civil libertarians also support the party because of their support of habeas corpus for unlawful combatants, opposition to torture of suspected terrorists, extraordinary rendtition, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention without trial or charge, the Patriot Act, the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and what they see as the erosion of the protections of the Bill of Rights.[9][10]

In the 2010s, following the revelations by Edward Snowden about NSA surveillance in 2013, the increasing advent of online decentralization and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the perceived failure of the War on Drugs, and the police violence in places like Ferguson, Democratic lawmakers such as Senators Ron Wyden, Kirsten Gilibrand, and Cory Booker and Representative Jared Polis have worked alongside libertarian Republicans like Senator Rand Paul and Representative Justin Amash to curb what is seen as government overreach in each of these areas, earning plaudits from such traditional libertarian sources as Reason Magazine.[11][12][13][14] The growing political power of Silicon Valley, a longtime Democratic stronghold that is friendly to economic deregulation and strong civil liberties protections while maintaining traditionally liberal views on social issues, has also had a serious impact on the increasingly libertarian leanings of young Democrats.[15][16][17]

Many anti-war and civil libertarian Democrats were energized by the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Ron Paul,[18][19] a constituency that has arguably embraced the 2016 presidential campaign of independent Democrat Bernie Sanders for the same reasons.[20][21] Additionally, Alaska Senator and presidential aspirant Mike Gravel left the Democratic Party midway through the 2008 presidential election cycle to seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.[22]

The spatial-locations and natural resources.[23]

Another group, The Libertarian Democratic Caucus (LDC) seeks to build libertarian coalitions on issues regardless of political party. The Democratic Freedom Caucus tends to focus on taxation while the LDC targets civil liberty issues such as legalizing victimless crimes. The LDC is a Democratic organization, but it advocates working with the Libertarian Party and libertarian Republicans, such as the Libertarian Republican Caucus, on issues they have in common.[24]

Grassroots

Labor unions

Since the 1930s, a critical component of the Democratic Party coalition has been

  • 21st Century Democrats
  • AFL-CIO
  • Blue Dog Coalition
  • Change to Win Federation
  • National Education Association
  • Democracy For America
  • Democratic Freedom Caucus
  • Democratic Leadership Council
  • Democrats For Life of America
  • Populist Caucus
  • Progressive Democrats of America
  • Libertarian Democratic Caucus

External links

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ http://ndn.org/
  6. ^
  7. ^ See also:
  8. ^ <
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ http://libertariandemocraticcaucus.org/
  25. ^
  26. ^ http://secular.org/content/secular-coalition-flunks-us-house-religious-freedom-issues
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ http://secular.org/content/2012-presidental-candidate-scorecard
  30. ^ http://atheism.about.com/od/godlessliberals/tp/Atheists-Voting-Elections.htm
  31. ^ http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheistSurveys.htm
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^
  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ [2]
return p

end

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function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '

function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )
%s
function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '

function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


Notes

Libertarian Party:

Republican Party:

  • Democratic organizations
  • Unofficial organizations for Democrats

See also

There is some overlap between the factions. All left-wing factions have overlap with each other, liberals, progressives and organized labor are all closely linked, for example. Also, because the lines between social and economic progressivism can be unclear, the difference between centrism and conservatism can also be unclear. Also there are regional factors, many factions are more likely to vote for the Democratic Party in blue states than in red states.

Overlap

The Democratic Party also has strong support among the Native American population, forming sizeable political blocs in Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Native Americans

Jewish communities tend to be a stronghold for the Democratic Party, with more than 70% of Jewish voters having cast their ballots for the Democrats in the 2004 and 2006 elections. And of the 33 Jewish Congressmen and Senators currently serving in Congress, 32 are Democrats (all if Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, is counted.)

Jews

Islamic convert Keith Ellison was elected as first Muslim Congressman in 2006. He was elected as Democrats' Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district.

-- based on setting/preference specify order local orderlist = {"c", "s", "t", "p", "tp", "w", "j", "cy", "poj", "zhu", "l"} if (t1) then orderlist[2] = "t" orderlist[3] = "s" end if (j1) then orderlist[4] = "j" orderlist[5] = "cy" orderlist[6] = "p" orderlist[7] = "tp" orderlist[8] = "w" end -- rename rules. Rules to change parameters and labels based on other parameters if args["hp"] then -- hp an alias for p ([hanyu] pinyin) args["p"] = args["hp"] end if args["tp"] then -- if also Tongyu pinyin use full name for Hanyu pinyin labels["p"] = "Hanyu Pinyin" end if (args["s"] and args["s"] == args["t"]) then -- Treat simplified + traditional as Chinese if they're the same args["c"] = args["s"] args["s"] = nil args["t"] = nil elseif (not (args["s"] and args["t"])) then -- use short label if only one of simplified and traditional labels["s"] = labels["c"] labels["t"] = labels["c"] end local body = "" -- the output string local params -- for creating HTML spans local label -- the label, i.e. the bit preceeding the supplied text local val -- the supplied text -- go through all possible fields in loop, adding them to the output for i, part in ipairs(orderlist) do if (args[part]) then -- build label label = "" if (uselabels) then label = labels[part] if (capfirst) then label = mw.language.getContentLanguage():ucfirst( However, after 9/11 many experienced hostility and discrimination,[37] and many right-wing religious and political leaders attacked Islam as both a violent religion and a threat to American values.[38][39] Furthermore, most Muslim Americans opposed the Iraq War, solidifying their shift to the Democratic Party.[40]

        local t1 = false -- whether traditional Chinese characters go first
        local j1 = false -- whether Cantonese Romanisations go first
        local testChar
        if (args["first"]) then
                 for testChar in mw.ustring.gmatch(args["first"], "%a+") do
          if (testChar == "t") then
           t1 = true
           end
          if (testChar == "j") then
           j1 = true
           end
         end
        end
        if (t1 == false) then
         local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle()
         t1 = t1st[title.text] == true
        end

function p.Zh(frame) -- load arguments module to simplify handling of args local getArgs = require('Module:Arguments').getArgs local args = getArgs(frame) return p._Zh(args) end function p._Zh(args) local uselinks = not (args["links"] == "no") -- whether to add links local uselabels = not (args["labels"] == "no") -- whether to have labels local capfirst = args["scase"] ~= nil

local italic = { ["p"] = true, ["tp"] = true, ["w"] = true, ["j"] = true, ["cy"] = true, ["poj"] = true, } -- Categories for different kinds of Chinese text local cats = { ["c"] = "", ["s"] = "", ["t"] = "", }

-- for those parts which are to be treated as languages their ISO code local ISOlang = { ["c"] = "zh", ["t"] = "zh-Hant", ["s"] = "zh-Hans", ["p"] = "zh-Latn-pinyin", ["tp"] = "zh-Latn", ["w"] = "zh-Latn-wadegile", ["j"] = "yue-jyutping", ["cy"] = "yue", ["poj"] = "hak", ["zhu"] = "zh-Bopo", }

-- article titles for wikilinks for each part local wlinks = { ["c"] = "Chinese language", ["s"] = "simplified Chinese characters", ["t"] = "traditional Chinese characters", ["p"] = "pinyin", ["tp"] = "Tongyong Pinyin", ["w"] = "Wade–Giles", ["j"] = "Jyutping", ["cy"] = "Yale romanization of Cantonese", ["poj"] = "Pe̍h-ōe-jī", ["zhu"] = "Bopomofo", }

-- the labels for each part local labels = { ["c"] = "Chinese", ["s"] = "simplified Chinese", ["t"] = "traditional Chinese", ["p"] = "pinyin", ["tp"] = "Tongyong Pinyin", ["w"] = "Wade–Giles", ["j"] = "Jyutping", ["cy"] = "Cantonese Yale", ["poj"] = "Pe̍h-ōe-jī", ["zhu"] = "Zhuyin Fuhao", ["l"] = "literally", }

-- articles in which traditional Chinese preceeds simplified Chinese local t1st = { ["228 Incident"] = true, ["Chinese calendar"] = true, ["Lippo Centre, Hong Kong"] = true, ["Republic of China"] = true, ["Republic of China at the 1924 Summer Olympics"] = true, ["Taiwan"] = true, ["Taiwan (island)"] = true, ["Taiwan Province"] = true, ["Wei Boyang"] = true, }

local p = {}

Muslims make up about 0.6% of Americans and in the 2008 election, 89% of Muslim Americans voted for Barack Obama.[36] Muslim Americans tend to be financially well off, as many in the community are small businessmen and educated professionals. They also tend to be socially conservative. Prior to 2002, most tended to vote for Republicans for these reasons.require('Module:No globals')

Muslims

The Democratic party made gains among the Asian American population starting with 1996 and in 2006, won 62% of the Asian American vote. This is due to demographic shifts in the Asian American community, with growing numbers of well educated, usually American-born Chinese and Asian Indian immigrants that are typically economic centrist and social progressives. The Asian American community's increasing number of young voters has also helped to erode traditionally reliably Republican voting blocs such as Vietnamese and Filipino Americans, leading to an increase in support for Democrats. Prominent Asian-American Democrats include late senator Daniel Inouye, Daniel Akaka, Gary Locke, Mike Honda, David Wu, Doris Matsui, and Norman Mineta.

The Democratic Party also has considerable support in the small but growing Ross Perot winning 15% of the Asian vote. Originally, the vast majority of Asian Americans consisted of strongly anti-communist, pro-democracy Vietnamese refugees, Chinese Americans, Taiwanese Americans, Korean Americans, and socially conservative Filipinos who fled Ferdinand Marcos in the 1960s through the 1980s, and the general Republican Party's socially conservative, fervently anti-communist position strongly resonated with these original demographic.

Asian Americans

After a period of incremental gains under George W. Bush, the Republican Party's support among Hispanics seriously eroded after a heated and acrimonious debate within the party during the 109th Congress over immigration reform. Nationwide protests helped galvanize Hispanic political participation, and in the 2006 mid-term elections, Democrats increased their share the Hispanic vote from 2004 by 14 points to 69%.[35] The trend continued in 2008, as Barack Obama carried the Latino vote with 67%.[34] Obama expanded his share of the Latino vote to 71% in the 2012 Presidential election

The Hispanic population, particularly the large Mexican American population in the Southwest and large Puerto Rican, Dominican, and South American populations in the Northeast have been strongholds for the Democratic Party. Hispanic Democrats commonly favor liberal views on immigration, which supersedes in priority over the socially conservative views that many Hispanics hold. In 1996 presidential election, Democratic President Bill Clinton received 72% of the Hispanic vote.

Hispanics

Originally, the Republican Party was favored by African Americans after the end of the civil war and emancipation of black slaves. This trend started to gradually change in the 1930s with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs that gave economic relief to all minorities including African Americans and Hispanics. Support for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson helped give the Democrats even larger support among the African American community, although their position also alienated the Southern white population. Today African Americans have as strong support for the Democratic Party as any group has for either party, voting 90% Democratic in the 2000 presidential election,[32] 88% Democratic in the 2004 presidential election[33] and 95% Democratic in the 2008 presidential election.[34]

African Americans

A large portion of the Democratic voting base are ethnic minorities. The Democrats' positions on affirmative action and civil rights, the economy, and immigration have attracted many minorities to the party.

Ethnic minorities

There is still a social stigma relating to atheism in the nation and polls show that a majority of the American people would be more comfortable voting for a Muslim or gay candidate than an atheist.[31]

Atheists and secular people, although a diverse group themselves, may include individuals who are fiscally conservative. In this case, fiscally conservative atheists and secularists will come together due to their opposition to the religiously-bound social policies of the Christian right.[30]

The Democratic Party receives a lot of support among secular organizations such as the Secular Coalition for America,[26] many agnostics and atheists. Exit polls from the 2008 election showed that although a religious affiliation of "irreligion" accounted for 12% of the electorate, they overwhelmingly voted for Obama by a 75–25% margin.[27] In his inaugural address, Obama acknowledged atheists by saying that the United States is not just "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus but non-believers as well."[28] In the 2012 election cycle, Obama has moderate to high rankings with the Secular Coalition for America, whereas the majority of the Republican candidates have ratings in the low-to-failing range.[29]

Secularism

Prominent Christian left Democrats include Jesse Jackson (a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988) and Al Sharpton (a Democratic presidential candidate in 2004).

Christian left includes Peace churches, elements of Protestant mainline churches, elements of Roman Catholicism and some parts of the evangelical community. Their concerns regarding social justice, welfare, universal health care, education and foreign aid are more in line with the Democratic economic agenda than the laissez-faire economic approach of the Republicans. Their social views of capital punishment, defense and militarism, civil rights and equality are also left-wing. On moral issues such as abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality, the Christian left are often, although not always, more in line with Democrats. They may either disagree with Biblical literalism on these issues or may hold opposition but choose to prioritize social justice and other issues over social issues.

The Christian left shares many policy goals with Democratic Party, although the movement is arguably smaller and less influential on the party when compared to the Christian right, which is generally more affiliated with the Republican Party.

Christian left

Prominent politicians associated with the labor wing include Massachusetts Congressman John Edwards. Most of the members in this faction identify with the progressive faction of the party.

Both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win have identified their top legislative priority for 2007 as passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, make it easier for employees to join a union and would increase penalties for employer violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Other important issues for labor unions include support for industrial policy (including fair trade) that sustains unionized manufacturing jobs, raising the minimum wage, and promoting broad social programs such as social security and universal health care.

The three most significant labor groupings in the Democratic coalition today are the AFL-CIO, a labor federation of 53 national unions representing 9 million public and private sector workers; the Change to Win Federation, which broke away from the AFL-CIO in 2005 and currently includes seven national unions representing approximately 6 million public and private sector workers; and the National Education Association, a 3.2-million-member independent union unaffiliated with either the AFL-CIO or Change to Win, which primarily represents teachers and other education workers.

Because union members vote in high numbers, as well as the organizational and financial resources unions can bring to bear, they continue to have significant influence on the Party. [25]

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