What lies ahead for Democrats after their party suffered massive losses on the federal, state, and local levels in 2016? After Barack Obama’s 2008 victory, 62% of Americans had a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party and 31% had an unfavorable opinion, according to CNN tracking. Today, the party’s favorable rating stands at just 39% (a drop of 23 points from 2008) and its unfavorable rating is up to 54% (an increase of 23 points).
In comparison, the Republican Party’s favorable rating stands at 41% today (an increase of three points from 2008) and its unfavorable rating is at 52% (down two points from 2008), according to CNN tracking. Republicans have a greater opportunity to increase their favorable numbers since their control of the White House and Congress gives them the power to act. The Democratic Party, however, is in danger of moving further to the left, farther away from what the majority of the American electorate desire.
The 2016 national exit polls suggest more voters want the next president to take the country in a more conservative direction. A whopping 47% said they want the next president to “be more conservative.” Only 17% said the next president should “be more liberal” and just 28% of voters said the next president should “continue Obama’s policies.” To build on their victories, Republicans need to deliver. Democrats, on the other hand, need to heed the message voters’ sent on November 8th if they want to avoid a repeat of this year’s disastrous outcome for their party.