Updated Apr 28, 2018 - Politics & Policy

The dramatic rise of the Democratic resistance

Democratic voters have become much less open to compromise with Republicans under President Trump, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Reproduced from a Pew Research Center report.; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from a Pew Research Center report.; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The dramatic shift in Democrats' support for compromise — from 69% last July to just 44% now — reflects the party's growing progressive base. They want to stand up to Trump and stick to their liberal views, even if it's against their moderate colleagues.

What's new: For years, Democrats were more open to compromise than Republicans. That was the trend in six previous Pew surveys. This time, the two parties were about even.

The big picture: The Democratic Party is going through an identity crisis under Trump. Grassroots activists want to push the party to the left, while moderate Democrats want to work with Republicans to find solutions.

  • Moderate Democrats are likely the key to taking back the House, as we've seen in tough races from Alabama to Pennsylvania. But the progressive members of the party want to ride the resistance wave all the way to November, and they expect their elected officials to do the same.

What they're saying: "In this type of climate, it’s less about who you are and more about why you’re running and your willingness to stand up to Trump," said Zac McCrary, a Democratic pollster who has worked with congressional races across the country. "Democratic voters want to know their candidate gets it and is going to be a very active watchdog on Trump."

Voters across the country clearly want change. Two-thirds of Americans view Congress unfavorably and 61% of voters overall think there needs to be significant structural changes to government.

Bottom line: If you're one of the many who think Congress is too dysfunctional and partisan, we don't have any good news for you.

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