If the Rasmussen polls have any credibility, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden, the geriatric face of the Democratic Party, are in trouble. That’s because 73 percent of Democrats, the polling organization reports, want a “fresh face.”
And they don’t mean an old one with a face lift.
Democrats wants new blood, perhaps a candidate such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old socialist who knocked off Representative Joe Crowley, yet another old white guy the party’s young Turks are trying to put out to pasture.
Which is exactly what Ocasio-Cortez did, with 57.5 percent of the vote against Crowley’s 42.5 in New York’s 14th congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez will not lose the general election.
Rasmussen’s numbers might just suggest Ocasio-Cortez and other young ideologues are the party’s future leadership. What that means for its electoral fortunes, however, are another question.
What the Survey Said
Rasmussen Reports polled 1,000 likely voters last week with two questions:
First, “Should Democrats look for a fresh face to run for president in 2020 or should Democrats promote a candidate who has already run in the past?” Second, “Has Clinton been good or bad for the Democratic Party? Or has she had no impact?”
The results don’t look good for party’s aging triumverate of past losers against Republicans.
In addition to the 73 percent ready for a “fresh face” in 2020, only 16 percent “disagree and think the party should promote a candidate who has already run in the past.” Eleven percent are undecided.
These numbers contrast with those in 2016, when Clinton was a “shoo-in” to get the party’s nod, and just 36 percent of Democrats wanted someone new.
Among all likely voters — not just Democrats — 65 percent think the Democrats should suggest retirement for Clinton & Co., and 19 percent think the party should nominate one of the has-beens.
Party Is Too Old and Too White
Yet age — Clinton is 70, Biden is 75, and Sanders is 76 — isn’t the only thing the three oldsters share. They are also white.
That unpleasing demographic is something that some Democrats don’t think will sell with younger voters.
Ocasio-Cortez, for instance, is using her media-generated star power — she has nothing else to offer — to back three young black women challenging established, older Democrats, as The Daily Caller reported.
They are Cori Bush, 41, in her race against seven-term 1st District Representative Lacy Clay, 61, in Missouri; Ayanna Pressley, 44, against Representative Michael Capuano, 66, in Massachusetts’ 7th District; and Kerri Harris, 38, biracial and lesbian, against Senator Tom Carper, 71, in Delaware. Of the three incumbents, Clay is black, but all of them are way beyond the age cohort of their challengers.
As well, as The New American reported last week, beyond Ocasio-Cortez, two other young Hispanics are mounting challenges to the Democratic Party’s leadership. Representative Loretta Sanchez says it’s time time former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s generation to let go of their power, while Kevin de León, the state senator in California trying to stop the enforcement of immigration law, is mounting a challenge, however hopeless this time, against Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 85 years old. The party officially endorsed de León over Feinstein for Senate, even though Feinstein crushed her opponent in the state’s open primary contest in June.
Meanwhile, Senator Kamala Harris, also of California, is a possible contender for the Democratic nomination in 2020, along with Cory Booker of New Jersey. She just signed a book deal with Penguin Books, The Daily Caller reported.
Harris, the New York Times reported, “offers herself as the herald of a rising, diverse generation of Americans.”
Ocasio-Cortez Too Radical
The question is what these young renegades will do to the party. Are its voters ready for prime-time, flat-out socialism and the racial-sexual politics these candidate represent?
Younger minority voters say yes, but white Democrats don’t agree and have been leaving the party for years.
As the Washington Post reported in May, white voters “have slowly but consistently moved away from the Democratic Party,” which has “has courted and won more votes from ethnic and racial minority groups. However, at the same time, in response to these demographic changes, more whites have shifted rightward on economic issues.”
If true, a move further left might drive more of those voters to the GOP.
Photo: AP Images