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Democratic Party (United States)

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Democratic Party
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Democratslogo.png
Democratic Party logo

Party Chairman Howard Dean
Senate Leader Harry Reid
House Leader Nancy Pelosi
Founded 1828
Headquarters 430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C.
20003
Political ideology Liberalism (within meaning in the United States)
International affiliation none
(The National Democratic Institute, an organization with ties to the Democratic Party, is registered as a "cooperating organization" with the Liberal International.)
Color(s) Blue
Website http://www.democrats.org

The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The Party is currently (as of 2005) the minority party in the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, and governorships. The party holds a narrow majority of state legislative seats, however. Of the two major U.S. parties, the Democratic Party is to the left of the Republican Party, though its politics are not as consistently leftist as the traditional social democratic and labor parties in much of the rest of the world. In the U.S. it is often referred to as the more "liberal" party, within the meaning of liberalism in the United States.

Contents

Factions of the Democratic Party

It should be noted that defining the views of any "faction" of any political party is difficult at best, and that any attempt to apply labels within a single political party is no more effective than the application of broad labels to political parties as a whole. Keeping that in mind, there are several ideological groups widely recognized within the modern-day Democratic Party:

  • The Blue Dog Democrats are a congressional grouping 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 thirty members some ability to change legislation. The name appears to be both a reference to several well-known Louisiana paintings featuring blue dogs, as well as a reference to the old "yellow dog" Democrats having been "choked blue."
  • Clintonistas - Political journalists often speak of the political advisors and allies surrounding Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as a kind of faction, though such individuals hardly have a unified ideological leaning. Though formally a New Democrat, Hillary Clinton is generally considered more liberal than the DLC.
  • "Deaniacs" - Howard Dean, a failed candidate for the party's 2004 presidential nomination, emerged as a major player in the Democratic party and a leading opponent to the powerful New Democrats group. His campaign organization "Dean for America" became a new group, Democracy for America, to remain active after the election.
  • Southern Democrats - Socially conservative southern white Democrats, previously a key element in the Democratic coalition, are increasingly rare, many having been defeated, or opting not to run, in the 1994, 2002, and 2004 elections.
  • Organized labor - As a key source of political contributions, volunteers, and field organizing expertise, labor unions hold significant sway in the Democratic Party. Former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt was a leading supporter of labor's agenda in Congress.
  • African-American Leadership - African Americans are members of many factions, however there is a Democratic African-American Leadership group that coalesces around the Congressional Black Caucus leadership and is generally considered liberal in outlook. Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson can be considered its most prominent new and old leaders respectively.
  • Civil libertarians often (but not always) support the Democratic Party because its positions on such issues as civil rights and separation of church and state more closely resemble their own than the positions of the Republican Party do, and because the Democrats' economic agenda may be more appealing to them than that of the Libertarian Party. They oppose the "War on Drugs", preventive law, protectionism, corporate welfare, immigration restrictions, governmental borrowing, and the USA being the world's police officer. Civil libertarians often assume positions on gun control that are more lax than the party's leadership

Symbols

"A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast
Enlarge
"A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast

On January 19, 1870, a political cartoon by Thomas Nast appearing in Harper's Weekly titled "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" for the first time symbolized the Democratic Party as a donkey. Since then, the donkey has been widely used as a symbol of the Party, though unlike the Republican elephant, the donkey has never been officially adopted as the Party's logo. The DNC's official logo, pictured at right, depicts a stylized kicking donkey.

In the early 20th century, the traditional symbol of the Democratic Party in Midwestern states such as Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio was the rooster, as opposed to the Republican eagle. This symbol still appears on Kentucky and Indiana ballots.

For the majority of the 20th Century, Missouri Democrats used the Statue of Liberty as their ballot emblem. This meant that when Libertarian candidates received ballot access in Missouri in 1976, they could not use the Statue of Liberty, their national symbol, as the ballot emblem. Missouri Libertarians instead used the Liberty Bell until 1995, when the mule became Missouri's state animal. From 1995 until 2004 there was some confusion on the behalf of voters, as the Democratic ticket was marked with the Statue of Liberty, and it seemed that the Libertarians were using a donkey.

In addition to the physical symbols of the Democratic Party are its emotional symbols. These include persons (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy), programs (Social Security, minimum wage, Medicare) and goals (expanded health insurance availability, greater incomes for average American citizens, a fairer tax structure, a foreign policy more successful in pursuing the twin goals of both peace and strength.)

A Democratic activist over the last four decades, and delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, State Representative Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia, said "One cannot fully understand Democratic policy proposals unless one understands the past. Year after year, the Democrats took ideas that were considered impractical and converted them into programs considered to be necessities by many Americans. Democratic campaign rhetoric is full of symbolic references to these achievements."

Organization

For more information on how American political parties are organized, see Politics of the United States.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) provides national leadership for the United States Democratic Party. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Democratic political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. There are similar committees in every U.S. state and most U.S. counties (though in some states, Party organization lower than state-level is arranged by legislative districts). It can be considered the counterpart of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and their state and local organizations. Its current chair is Howard Dean.

The Democratic Party also has fundraising and strategy committees for U.S. House races (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee), U.S. Senate races (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee), gubernatorial races (Democratic Governors Association), and state legislative races (Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee).

History

Origins

The Democratic Party's origins lie in the original Republican Party founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1794. (Today, this party is usually referred to as the "Democratic-Republican Party" to avoid confusion). After the disintegration of the Federalist Party, the Democratic-Republicans were the only major party in American politics.

The Presidency of Andrew Jackson, however, destroyed the unity of the Party, with the forming the Democratic-Republican faction, opposed by the National Republicans, led by John Quincy Adams. Following his defeat in the election of 1824 despite having a plurality of the popular vote, Andrew Jackson set about building a political coalition strong enough to defeat President John Quincy Adams in the election of 1828. The coalition that Jackson built was the foundation of the subsequent Democratic Party. The Jacksonian "Democratic-Republicans" soon became known as simply "Democrats." The Democratic Party was formed from the Andrew Jackson-led "Democratic-Republican" faction of the old Republican Party. From 1833 to 1856, the Democratic Party was opposed chiefly by the Whig Party.

Civil War and Reconstruction

In the 1850s, following the disintegration of the Whig Party, the Democratic Party became increasingly divided, with its Southern wing staunchly advocating the expansion of slavery into new territories, in opposition to the newly-founded Republican Party, which sought to prohibit such expansion. Democrats in the Northern states opposed this new trend, and at the 1860 nominating convention the Party split and nominated two candidates (see U.S. presidential election, 1860). As a result, the Democrats went down in defeat – part of the chain of events leading up to the Civil War. During the war, Northern Democrats fractured into two factions, War Democrats, who supported the military policies of Republican President Abraham Lincoln, and Copperheads, who strongly opposed them. From 1856 onward, Democratic Party's main opposition has come from the modern Republican Party.

The Democrats were shattered by the war but nevertheless benefited from white Southerners' resentment of Reconstruction and consequent hostility to the Republican Party. Once Reconstruction ended, and the disenfranchisement of blacks was re-established, the region was known as the "Solid South" for nearly a century because it reliably voted Democratic. Though Republicans continued to control the White House until 1885, the Democrats remained competitive, especially in the mid-Atlantic and lower Midwest, and controlled the House of Representatives for most of that period. In the election of 1884, Grover Cleveland, the reforming Democratic Governor of New York, won the Presidency, a feat he repeated in 1892, having lost (but won the popular vote) in the election of 1888 (as had Samuel J. Tilden in the election of 1876.

Populism and Republican dominance

In the election of the 1896, widely regarded as a political realignment, Democrats favoring Free Silver defeated their conservative counterparts and succeeded in nominating William Jennings Bryan for the presidency (as did the agragarian Populist Party). Bryan, perhaps best known for his "Cross of Gold" speech delivered at the 1896 convention, waged a vigorous campaign attacking Eastern monied interests, but lost to Republican William McKinley in an election which was to prove decisive: the Republicans controlled the presidency for 28 of the following 36 years. That reign was interrupted in the election of 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt's independent Bull Moose candidacy split the Republican vote, giving Woodrow Wilson a popular plurality and victory in the electoral college, but Republican Warren Harding regained the White House in the election of 1920.

The New Deal

The stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression set the stage for a more interventionist government and Franklin D. Roosevelt won a landslide victory in the election of 1932, campaigning on a platform of "relief, recovery, and reform". After winning re-election in 1936, Roosevelt claimed a mandate and embarked on an ambitious legislative program he termed the "New Deal." He was stymied, however, by an alliance of Republicans and conservative Democrats. Frustrated by the conservative wing of the party, Roosevelt made an attempt to rid himself of it, and in 1938, he actively campaigned against five incumbent conservative Democratic senators. However, Roosevelt's attempt to purge the party of its conservatives failed when all five senators won re-election despite Roosevelt's efforts. (Thirty years later, the party did find itself largely divorced from its southern conservative wing, but with much less satisfaction at the result than Roosevelt might have anticipated.)

Roosevelt's New Deal programs focused on job-creation through public works projects as well as on social welfare programs such as Social Security. His policies soon paid off by uniting a diverse collection of Democratic voters called the New Deal Coalition, which included labor unions, minorities (most significantly, Catholics and Jews), liberals, and the traditional base of Southern whites. This united voter base allowed the Democrats to control the government for much of the next 30 years.

Civil Rights Movement

In 1924 at the Democratic national convention, a resolution denouncing the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan was introduced, after considerable debate, the resolution failed by a single vote. This resolution later passed during the 1948 national convention as part of a larger resolution endorsing civil rights.

The New Deal Coalition began to fracture as more Democratic leaders voiced support for civil rights, upsetting the party's base of Southern Democrats. When Harry Truman's platform displayed support for civil rights and anti-segregation laws during the 1948 Democratic National Convention, many Southern Democratic delegates split from the party and formed the "Dixiecrats", led by Strom Thurmond (who would later join the Republican party). Over the next few years, many white Democrats in the "Solid South" drifted away from the party. On the other hand, African-Americans, who had traditionally given strong support to the Republican party since its inception as the "anti-slavery party", shifted to the Democratic party due to its New Deal economic opportunities and support for civil rights.

The party's dramatic reversal on civil rights issues culminated when Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Republicans began their Southern strategy, which aimed to woo the conservative Southern Democrats. Southern Democrats took notice of the fact that 1964 Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater had voted against the Civil Rights Act (an unusual departure from his previous support for such legislation), and in the 1964 election Goldwater's only electoral victories outside his home state of Arizona were in the states of the deep south.

The degree to which the Southern Democrats had abandoned the party became evident in the 1968 Presidential election when every former Confederate state except Texas voted for either Republican Richard Nixon or independent George Wallace, the latter a former Southern Democrat. Defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey's electoral votes came mainly from the Northern states, marking a dramatic shift from the 1948 election 20 years earlier, when the losing Republican candidate's electoral votes were mainly concentrated in the Northern states.

1980s-2000s

During and after Republican President Ronald Reagan's term, conservative Democrats who supported many of Reagan's policies were called "Reagan Democrats". Many of those so-called "Reagan Democrats" eventually defected to the Republican Party.

The Democratic Leadership Council has in recent years worked to move the Party more towards the ideological center. With the Party retaining left-of-center supporters as well as supporters holding moderate or conservative views on some issues, the Democrats became generally a catch all party with widespread appeal to most opponents of the Republicans. This includes organized labor, educators, environmentalists, supporters of civil rights, progressive taxation proponents, gays, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Native Americans, supporters of gun control, pro-choice groups and other opponents of the social conservatism favored by many Republicans.

In the 1990s the Democratic Party re-invigorated itself, in part by moving to the right on economic and social policy. President Bill Clinton implemented a balanced federal budget and welfare reform, traditionally Republican causes. Labor unions, which had been steadily losing membership since the 1960s, found they had also lost political clout inside the Democratic Party: Clinton enacted the NAFTA free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico over the strong objection of the unions. Those on the left of the party were dismayed at this agreement as well.

When the New Democrat movement attempted to move the Democratic agenda in favor of a more centrist approach, prominent Democrats from the moderate and conservative factions (such as Chairman Terry McAuliffe) assumed leadership of the party and its direction. In addition to its percieved abandonment of labor unions, Democratic candidates' acceptence and use of large sums of corporate donations for campaign finances; the inconstistency of some Democratic officeholders (including Democratic leaders) on environmental, financial, laboral and other issues that were core to the party; and the D.N.C.'s, D.L.C.'s and N.D.N.'s acceptence of monied interests, all unintentionally contributed to a new negative public image of the Democratic Party. Many liberals and progressives felt alienated from the Democratic Party, which they felt had become unconcerned with the interests of common people. [ref1] Some members of the Green Party of the United States have declared, "The Democratic Party is where progressive politics go to die." Democrats generally challenge the validity of such critiques, citing the important Democratic role in pushing progressive reforms in many states and localities. The Greens, on the other hand, believed that centrist Democrats were not safeguarding, and would not safeguard, progressivism in government (and that citizens would be better served with electoral reforms that would give more third-party and independent candidates generally equal opportunity to win elections than they have under the systems of election in use in the U.S.).

These disputes manifested in the Presidential election of 2000, in which the Democrats ran Al Gore while the Greens fielded Ralph Nader. Critics asserted that Gore was quote-unquote spineless, citing facts showing of his inconsistency on a number of issues. Although Gore and Republican canidate George W. Bush clearly disagreed on abortion, Social Security, gun control and some other issues, some critics - especially Nader - decided the two were too similar because they expressed similar opinions and positions on trade, crime and some other important issues. These factors resulted in many who possibly would have voted for Gore to instead to vote for Ralph Nader. In a disputed election, Gore won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral Vote. It is commonly accepted that Gore's loss in the Electoral College was because Gore and Nader split the Democratic bloc in New Hampshire and Florida. Nader and most of his supporters, however, argued it was because Gore was not a good prospective President. By then, many leftists had begun to support the Green Party U.S. instead of the Democratic Party, which made it the famous alternative to the Democratic Party. [ref2]

The Democratic Senators went from the majority in the 106th Congress to a split minority in the 107th Congress. However, that changed when Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vermont) switched from the Republican to the Democratic quorum, which effectively returned majoritarian priviledges back the Democratic Senators. Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota continued to lead the Senate Democrats with an agenda of compromise.

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the nation's focus changed to issues of national security and increasing isolation of the United States as the sole remaining and increasingly proactive superpower. All but one Congressional Democrat voted with their Republican colleagues to authorize President Bush's 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Daschle pushed for his party to approve what are arguably two of the most controversial and inflamatory (to opponents) measures the Senate has ever approved: the USA PATRIOT Act and the invasion of Iraq. The Democrats were split over the 2003 invasion of Iraq and increasingly expressed concerns about both the justification and progress of the War on Terrorism and the domestic effects including challenges to civil liberties and privacy from the USA PATRIOT Act.

In the wake of the financial frauds of Enron and other corporations, Congressional Democrats were integral in pushing for and developing a legal overhaul of business accounting with the intention of preventing further accounting fraud; Congress unanimously approved it and Pres. Bush signed it into law. With job losses and bunkruptcies across regions and industrustries increasing in 2001 and 2002, the Democrats generally campaigned on the issue of economic recovery. The Democratic Party lost a few seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and three seats (Georgia as Max Cleland was unseated, Minnesota as Paul Wellstone died and his succeeding Democratic candidate lost the election, and Missouri as Jeanne Carnahan was unseated) in the Senate, failing to regain the majority in the House and losing their majority in the Senate. Also, while Democrats gained goverships in New Mexico (where Bill Richardson was elected), Arizona (Janet Napolitano) and Wyoming (Dave Freudenthal), other Democrats lost goverorships in South Carolina (Jim Hodges), Alabama (Don Siegelman) and, for the first time in more than a century, Georgia (Roy Barnes). In considering that most Americans had become more concerned about corporate crime and other economic issues, the election was proceeded with widespread debate over how and why the Democrats lost. [ref3]

The Democrats began fielding Presidential candidates as early as 2002 Dec., when Gore announced he would not run in 2004. For a time, Gen. Wesley Clark, a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, was the frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Ex-Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont, another opponent of the war and a staunch critic of the Democratic establishment, was the frontrunner leading into the Democratic primary elections. Both Dean and Clark each had immense grassroots support. However, Democratic caucuses and voters instead settled on John Kerry, who many felt was a more accessible candidate than Dean.

In 2003-2004, with layoffs of American workers, occuring across the U.S. and in various industries, in favor of the same work being performed by lower-paid foreign laborers, some Democrats (including John Kerry, ex-Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont and Senatorial candidate Erskine Bowles of North Carolina) began to refine their positions on free trade and some even question their past support for it. By 2004, the failure of George W. Bush's administration to find weapons of mass destruction, mounting combat casualties in Iraq, and the lack of any end point for the War on Terror were also issues in the American national elections. That year, Democrats generally campaigned on jobless recovery, exiting Iraq, and instating (what they considered) better policies on counterterrorism.

Despite strong campaigning in 2003 and 2004, and Pres. Bush's and the Republican Party's decreasing popularity nationwide, the Democrats were not victorious nationally. Kerry narrowly lost the election, including losing the popular vote. Republicans gained four seats in the Senate and three seats in the House of Representives. Also, for the first time since Barry Goldwater of Arizona won his first election to the Senate, the Democratic leader of the Senate lost reelection. In the end there were 3,660 Democratic state legislators across the nation to the Republicans' 3,557, and Democrats gained governorships in Louisiana (after a statewide election in 2003), New Hampshire and Montana. However, the Democrats lost the governorship of Missouri and a legislative majority in Georgia, the latter state which was once among the most Democratic states.

Following the elections of 2004 was debate of why and how the Democrats lost. Some argued that the Democratic Party avoided having general opinions and did not articulate for what they stood. In these arguments, the platform adopted at the 2004 Democratic Nat'l Convention is sometimes cited; three partisan insiders authored it and mostly vaguely addressing a minimal number of issues across its 56 pages, and with only passing mentions of women's rights, gay rights, environmental protection and other issues that were previously consistent strongholds of the Democratic Party. [ref4] Others said that the Democrats did not have an inspiring story to tell (whereas Republicans touted that their candidate, Pres. Bush, "met the call of duty" in the aftermath of 9/11). [ref5] U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has asserted that Kerry did not do enough to reach out to rural citizens and that that was why Kerry lost. [ref6] Some suggested that the Democrats had received too negative a public image and that Republicans exploited that image. [ref7] A commonly accepted argument is that the Republicans ran in opposition to gay rights and used state ballot initiatives against homosexual marriage to attract more so-called "values voters" to vote. [ref8] Others have suggested that the votes in Ohio and Florida may have been miscounted, citing flaws in the electronic machines used in each state as evidence by known mistabulations, and that some potential voters in some states where disenfranchised. The latter controversy led U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and several Democratic U.S. Representatives to force a Congressional debate on the issue when the 109th Congress first convened and in such propose rejecting the results of the election; neither House concurred with the proposal.

Since then, many Democrats have voiced serious concern over the future of their party. In this situation, some prominent Democrats - including the party's leaders - began to rethink the party's direction, and a variety of strategies for moving forward were voiced. Some have said that they need to move further towards the center to regain seats in the House and Senate and possibly win the presidency in 2008. One topic of discussion is the party's policies surrounding reproductive rights, especially abortion. Rethinking the party's position on gun policy became a matter of discussion, brought up by Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Brian Schweitzer and other Democrats who had won governorships in states where Second Amendment rights were important to many voters. [ref9] In What's the Matter with Kansas?, commentator Thomas Frank wrote the Democrats needed to return to campaigning on economic populism.

These debates were reflected in the 2005 campaign for chair of the Democratic National Committee, which Howard Dean won over the objections of many party insiders. Dean sought to move the Democratic strategy away from the establishment of Washington, DC, and bolster support for the party's state and local chapters. Dean also asserted, of the issue of bipartisanship, that "there are some things we can support the President on", but that the Democrats' should oppose the President's agenda "when he's wrong". [ref10]

When the 109th Congress convened, the Democratic Senators chose Harry Reid of Nevada as their leader and Richard Durbin of Illinois to replace Reid as their Assistant Minority Leader. Reid convinced the Democratic Senators to vote more as a singular bloc on some important issues, something which forced the Republican majority to abandon its push for partial privatization of Social Security and instatement of the so-called "nuclear option" to end judicial filibuster without the Senate voting on either proposal. [ref5]

Presidential tickets

Refer also to: List of Presidents of the United States
[1] Resigned.
[2] Died while in office and was not replaced.
[3] Johnson succeeded Republican President Abraham Lincoln with whom he had been elected on a Union ticket in 1864.
[4] The Greeley/Brown ticket was nominated by both the Democrats and the Liberal Republican Party. Greeley died shortly after the election.
[5] Died of natural causes.
[6] Assassinated.
[7] Won the popular vote.
Election year Result Nominees and office-holders President
President Vice President # Term
1828 Won Andrew Jackson John Caldwell Calhoun[1] 7th 18291837
1832 Won Martin Van Buren
1836 Won Martin Van Buren Richard Mentor Johnson 8th 18371841
1840 Lost
1844 Won James Knox Polk George Mifflin Dallas 11th 18451849
1848 Lost Lewis Cass William Orlando Butler
1852 Won Franklin Pierce William Rufus deVane King[2] 14th 18531857
1856 Won James Buchanan John Cabell Breckinridge 15th 18571861
1860 Lost Stephen Arnold Douglas (Northern) Herschel Vespasian Johnson
Lost John Cabell Breckinridge (Southern) Joseph Lane
1864 Lost George Brinton McClellan George Hunt Pendleton
Andrew Johnson[3] none 17th 18651869
1868 Lost Horatio Seymour Francis Preston Blair, Jr.
1872 Lost Horace Greeley[4] Benjamin Gratz Brown
1876 Lost[7] Samuel Jones Tilden Thomas Andrews Hendricks
1880 Lost Winfield Scott Hancock William Hayden English
1884 Won Stephen Grover Cleveland Thomas Andrews Hendricks[2] 22nd 18851889
1888 Lost[7] Allen Granberry Thurman
1892 Won Adlai Ewing Stevenson 24th 18931897
1896 Lost William Jennings Bryan Arthur Sewall
1900 Lost Adlai Ewing Stevenson
1904 Lost Alton Brooks Parker Henry Gassaway Davis
1908 Lost William Jennings Bryan John Worth Kern
1912 Won Woodrow Wilson Thomas Riley Marshall 28th 19131921
1916 Won
1920 Lost James Middleton Cox Franklin D. Roosevelt
1924 Lost John William Davis Charles Wayland Bryan
1928 Lost Alfred Emmanuel Smith Joseph Taylor Robinson
1932 Won Franklin D. Roosevelt[5] John Nance Garner 32nd 19331945
1936 Won
1940 Won Henry Agard Wallace
1944 Won Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman none 33rd 19451953
1948 Won Alben William Barkley
1952 Lost Adlai Ewing Stevenson II John Jackson Sparkman
1956 Lost Estes Kefauver
1960 Won John Fitzgerald Kennedy[6] Lyndon Baines Johnson 35th 19611963
Lyndon Baines Johnson none 36th 19631969
1964 Won Hubert Horatio Humphrey
1968 Lost Hubert Horatio Humphrey Edmund Sixtus Muskie
1972 Lost George Stanley McGovern Robert Sargent Shriver
1976 Won James Earl Carter, Jr. Walter Frederick Mondale 39th 19771981
1980 Lost
1984 Lost Walter Frederick Mondale Geraldine Anne Ferraro
1988 Lost Michael Stanley Dukakis Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr.
1992 Won William Jefferson Clinton Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. 42nd 19932001
1996 Won
2000 Lost[7] Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Joseph Isadore Lieberman
2004 Lost John Forbes Kerry Johnny Reid Edwards
2008 Potential nominees

Prominent figures of the Democratic Party

Currently notable Democrats

(Years of birth are indicated.)

Historically notable Democrats

(Years of birth and death are indicated.)

State affiliates

In most states the Democratic Party is simply known as the "Democratic Party". However, two of its state Party organizations have slightly different names, namely the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. See List of state Democratic Parties in the U.S.

A note on style

The usual adjective used in connection with the party is "Democratic", e.g., "Democratic Party" or "Democratic candidates", whereas members of the party are "Democrats". In order to avoid the arguably positive connotation of the word "democratic", Republicans will occasionally use "Democrat" as the adjective form, but this is relatively rare and generally regarded as incorrect. The abbreviation "Dems" is sometimes used to refer to members of the Party, but unlike "GOP", it is generally not acceptable in formal contexts, such as the text of news articles. When identifying an elected representative, the single letter "D" is used to denote a Democrat, followed by a hyphen and an abbreviation of the locale he or she represents. For example, Barbara Boxer, a Democratic U.S. senator from California may be referred to as "U.S. Sen. Barbara L. Boxer (D-CA)" or, in Associated Press style, "U.S. Sen. Barbara L. Boxer, D-Calif."

See also

References

History: 1990s-2000s

  1. Michael Moore, Stupid White Men (And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation), Chapter Ten, (P) Regan Books. Jesse Berney, Wage Slave Journal, 2001 Mar. 31, "Watch the Democrats scatter", http://wage-slave.org/20010331.democrats.html. NNDB, "New Democrat Movement", http://www.nndb.com/group/269/000093987/.
  2. Real People for Real Change, "Al Gore's Skeleton Closet", http://realchange.org/gore.htm. Michael Moore, Stupid White Men (And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation), Chapter Ten, (P) Regan Books. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Al Gore: A User's Manual, (P) 2000. Jesse Berney, Wage Slave Journal, 2000 Oct. 31, "Let him spoil", http://wage-slave.org/20001031.nader.html.
  3. Eric Alterman, What Liberal Media? The Truth about Bias and the News (http://whatliberalmedia.com), p. 223-224 (hardcover; U.S.), (P) Basic Books, 2003. Jesse Berney, Wage Slave Journal, 2002 Nov. 24, "Speak with moderation, but govern for your base", http://wage-slave.org/20021124.govern.html.
  4. Ari Melber, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2005 Mar. 26, "Where's the Party At?" (http://www.alternet.org/story/21601/). The Nation, 2004 Aug. 2, "A People's Democratic Platform" (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040802&s=forum).
  5. Michael Moore expressed this view in an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after the election. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2004 Dec., newly elected U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) said the Democrats "didn't have a story to tell."
  6. Eric Bates, Rolling Stone, 2005 Jun. 2, "The Gunslinger" (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/7371967).
  7. Al Franken and Tom Wolffe, Rolling Stone, 2004 Nov. 17, "The Aftermath" (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/6635609). Thomas Frank, New York Review of Books vol. 52 #8, 2005 May 12, "What's the Matter with Liberals?" (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17982)
  8. Jann S. Wenner, Rolling Stone, 2004 Nov. 17, "Why Bush Won" (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/6635544).
  9. Sasha Abramsky, The Nation for 2005 Apr. 18, "Democrat Killer?" (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050418).
  10. This Week with George Stephanopoulos, interview with Howard Dean (http://www.blogforamerica.com/archives/005851.html), 2005 Jan. 23 Sat., ABC-TV.

External links

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