The Democrats' Future

March 25, 2022 • Volume 32, Issue 9
Will they recover enough support to stay in power?
By Reed Karaim


Falling poll numbers and unexpected election defeats have left the Democratic Party in a tenuous position and engaged in an intense debate about its future. The party holds the White House and Congress, but its razor-slim majority in the Senate and internal divisions have hindered its ability to pass its legislative agenda. Centrist Democrats argue that the party's long-term prospects are poor unless it does a better job of reaching out to white working-class voters, primarily in rural areas, who have largely abandoned the party in recent decades. The Democrats' progressive wing counters that the party's youthful, multiracial coalition is growing and will be strong enough to win elections, but only if it is inspired to vote by bold policy proposals that speak to America's most pressing social and economic needs. Both sides worry that voting restrictions pushed by Republicans in multiple states, a conservative Supreme Court and a Senate and Electoral College that overrepresent smaller states present serious challenges for Democrats moving forward.

Photo of President Biden, Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi, during State of the Union speech on March 1, 2022. (Getty Images/Jim Lo Scalzo)
President Biden, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, delivers the State of the Union address March 1, at a time when Biden and the Democratic Party face falling poll numbers. (Getty Images/Jim Lo Scalzo)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Political Parties
Jan. 06, 2023  Dark Money
Mar. 25, 2022  The Democrats' Future
Apr. 30, 2021  The GOP's Future
Oct. 13, 2017  Future of the Democratic Party
Sep. 09, 2016  Populism and Party Politics
Nov. 14, 2014  Nonprofit Groups and Partisan Politics
Oct. 24, 2014  Future of the GOP
Feb. 28, 2014  Polarization in America
Mar. 19, 2010  Tea Party Movement Updated
Mar. 20, 2009  Future of the GOP
Jun. 08, 2007  Democrats in Congress
Apr. 30, 2004  The Partisan Divide
Dec. 22, 1995  Third-Party Prospects
Jan. 11, 1985  Post-1984 Political Landscape
Nov. 09, 1984  Democratic Revival in South America
Sep. 14, 1984  Election 1984
Dec. 19, 1980  Future of the Democratic Party
Sep. 29, 1978  New Right in American Politics
Jan. 04, 1974  Future of Conservatism
May 03, 1972  The New Populism
Feb. 02, 1956  Foreign Policy in Political Campaigns
Dec. 22, 1954  Divided Government
Aug. 04, 1952  Two-Party System
Jun. 06, 1952  Party Platforms
Sep. 05, 1951  Southern Democrats and the 1952 Election
Oct. 06, 1948  Voting in 1948
Aug. 27, 1948  Republicans and Foreign Policy
Jul. 16, 1947  Third Party Movements
Aug. 22, 1940  Political Realignments
Jan. 13, 1938  The G. O. P. and the Solid South
Jul. 22, 1936  Third Party Movements in American Politics
Jul. 07, 1936  The Monopoly Issue in Party Politics
Nov. 12, 1935  Party Platforms and the 1936 Campaign
May 18, 1934  Political Trends and New Party Movements
Jan. 13, 1932  National Party Platforms, 1832–1932
May 16, 1928  Third Party Movements
Jan. 21, 1928  Major Party Platforms 1924–1928
Nov. 14, 1924  The Election and the Third Party
Sep. 05, 1924  Party Claims and Past Political Complexion of the States
Jun. 25, 1924  Third Party Platforms
Jun. 18, 1924  Thrid Parties: Past and Prospective
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