by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist probes the impact of the Democratic Party’s activist left wing on the party’s 2018 electoral prospects.
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that California Democratic officials overwhelmingly endorsed the long-shot primary opponent of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth term in the U.S. Senate this November. …
… [T]he executive board of the California Democratic Party has rejected Feinstein in favor of a Bernie Sanders-style Democrat who doesn’t appear to be very popular with California voters. De León won only 12 percent of the primary vote to Feinstein’s 44 percent, but thanks to California’s open primary system he will face Feinstein again in November’s general election with the party’s official backing.
The endorsement of de León, despite Feinstein winning 70 percent of Democratic primary voters and carrying every county by double digits, is emblematic of how the Democratic Party is being pushed ever leftward by its base—electoral consequences be damned.
The growing dominance of Sanders-esque candidates and unalloyed identity politics among the Democratic base threatens to turn what should be a successful midterm election for Democrats into an embarrassing debacle. The worst-case scenario for the Democratic Party in November is that they gain control of neither the House nor the Senate, exposing the unpopularity of left-wing identity politics among the general electorate and their own failed strategy of dominating the opposition rather than persuading it.