Is there a leftward shift currently taking place in the Democratic Party? Are people in the United States actually moving to the left on an issue-by-issue basis, in spite of the current rightward tilt of all three branches of government?
These are some of the questions probed by Moritz Wichmann in his timely analysis just ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterm election. As one might guess, the answers are complex, and lead to still other questions about the state of the U.S. polity. Different segments of the U.S. right and even center-left warn of a “socialist takeover” of the Democratic Party for very different reasons. And how relevant is aggregated issue-by-issue preference data when “the 21 smallest states have the population of California but 42 Senators compared to California’s two”?
Not settling here, but rather pushing toward the bigger picture, Wichmann takes a data-driven political science approach to analyze how progressives are doing in general, how they have performed in recent primaries, and what will be their place in the 116th Congress of the United States.
If you want the answers to these questions, including an abundance of often-surprising statistical evidence in support, you’ll just have to read the paper.