The Democrats catering to their more radical base may have serious consequences for the party going forward.
In a recent interview with The New York Post, longtime Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen revealed his research had found that the “defund the police” slogan may cause Democratic candidates to lose their competitive edge against Republicans, something that should concern them if they hope to maintain the House in 2022.
The slogan became popular this past summer after footage depicting a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd inspired nationwide protests.
However, this anti-police rhetoric from the left is likely to cost them, as it turns out not many Democratic voters are in favor of the proposition.
Schoen and his organization, the Schoen Cooperman Research firm, polled 1,000 respondents in a post-election survey conducted between Nov. 8 and 9.
Neither the New York Post or an op-ed Schoen wrote for Fox News disclosed Schoen’s polling methods or how he accounted for margin of error.
The results of the poll may shock the Democrat’s more progressive wing, and Schoen is advising the party to revise its current strategy by steering its platform away from the controversial direction it’s taking.
According to the survey, 35 percent of voters surveyed said the “defund the police” movement made them “less likely to vote for Democrats,” while only 23 percent said it made them more likely.
Schoen’s poll also found a wide split between the moderate and progressive Democratic base, although Schoen did not disclose the margin of error in this case.
On the topic of whether Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was a “mandate for centrist policies” or a mandate for progressive policies, 62 percent of respondents said centrist.
Only 28 percent of those polled indicated their desire to see a potential Biden administration take a more progressive edge.
“The data says to me that if the Democrats go the progressive route they can lose the House and the Senate overwhelmingly in 2022,” Schoen told the Post.
“The incoming Biden administration has to understand that unless they take a moderate path, that is a likely potential outcome for the Democrats,” he explained.
Schoen revealed a majority of the country is “not so keen on AOC or her agenda.”
The Congresswoman from the Bronx has been one of the more vocal advocates for the “defund the police” movement, alongside fellow progressive colleagues Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.
Recently, the three Congresswomen took issue with former President Barrack Obama’s calling the “defund the police” movement a “snappy slogan” that could drive people away from the Democratic party.
We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020
The murders of generations of unarmed Black folks by police have been horrific. Lives are at stake daily so I’m out of patience with critiques of the language of activists.
Whatever a grieving family says is their truth.
And I’ll never stop fighting for their justice & healing.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 2, 2020
Omar tweeted out that “defund the police” is not a slogan, but a “policy demand,” whereas Pressley expressed impatience in a tweet at so much focus being directed toward language when “generations of unarmed Black folks” have been murdered by police.
AOC chimed in and declared the “defund the police” slogan a success, and she asserted that the movement’s extreme language earned the attention of the American public and encouraged them to support social justice policies.
What if activists aren’t PR firms for politicians & their demands are bc police budgets are exploding, community resources are shrinking to bankroll it, & ppl brought this up for ages but it wasn’t until they said “defund” that comfortable people started paying attn to brutality
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 2, 2020
But when they were polled, seven out of 10 participants in Schoen’s survey responded more positively to the idea of moderation expressed by centrist Democrats, such as former Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Rep. Abigail Spanberger.
Spanberger is the Virginia Democrat who, during a post-election House Democratic Caucus call on Nov. 5, cited the progressive’s talk about defunding the police as the reason why Democrats did not gain as many House seats as expected in this past election cycle.
AOC disagreed that the far left and its embrace of those calling for the police to be defunded had anything to do with the Democrat’s underperformance last month, showcasing the current divide in the party.
“So the whole ‘progressivism is bad’ argument just doesn’t have any compelling evidence that I’ve seen,” she tweeted. “When it comes to ‘Defund’ & ‘Socialism’ attacks, people need to realize these are racial resentment attacks.”
The question for Democrats, Schoen noted, is how to maintain the support of what he referred to as the “hardcore party activists” endorsing people like AOC “without fracturing the rest of the party.”
While Democrats managed to maintain their House majority this time around, Schoen’s research shows the party may need to get its branding under control before facing off with Republicans again in 2022.
Story cited here.