Raw Data: Democrats Identifying Mostly as “Liberal” These Days

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Over at the New York Times, Nikil Saval asks, ‘Who Wants to Be ‘Liberal’ Anymore?” According to Pew Research, here’s the answer:

Nearly half of millennial Democrats are willing to identify themselves as liberal, and the overall share of Democrats who call themselves liberal has been rising steadily since 2000.

The question Saval is asking is at least as old as the 60s, maybe older (though I’m too lazy to check): is the label “liberal” so associated with mainstream Democrats that it’s anathema to young lefties? Back then, the Vietnam War turned young activists against big labor and establishment Democrats, represented by people like Hubert Humphrey, Robert McNamara, George Meany, and so forth. Today, we have a new generation of Bernie admirers who feel the same way about contemorary Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, and John Kerry—and sometimes even Barack Obama, who doesn’t always earn a pass for being the first black president.

So in 50 years we’ve gone from the SDS to Chapo Trap House, which may or may not be an improvement. But it’s nothing new. In the meantime, whether you want to call it liberalism or progressivism or anything else, Democrats have gotten a lot more friendly toward it over the past decade.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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