The DSA and Splitting the Left

A unique trend is currently developing in American politics and as it gains momentum, could alter the modern Democratic Party of the past 25 years. The phenomenon, known as Splitting the Vote, is seen in the rise of the far-Left Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Party.


While it has only been seen in small, reliably Democrat-leaning, pockets in House primary races to date, it promises to change the complexion of the “New Democrats” ushered in following Bill Clinton's election in 1992. And the establishment had better look out.

The largest-scale – and most recent - example of this can be seen to the north and the recent Provincial general election in Ontario, Canada, where a new far-Left party received a record number of Parliamentary seats and paved the way for a Conservative takeover. In this case, the ruling Liberal Party, led for 12 years by unpopular Kathleen Wynn lost 48 seats while the New Democratic Party, led by Andrea Horwath, had its best showing ever, picking up 22 seats from the previous election.

This Splitting of the Left opened the path for the Progressive Conservative Party, led by alleged former hashish dealer Doug Ford (yea that guy's brother), to pick up 49 additional seats and win control of Canada's most populous province.

While Canada operates under a Parliamentary system, with up to 24 parties in Ontario alone, this new faction within progressive politics could portend changes within DNC party leadership all the way to the top of the power structure.

Take the recent upset primary victory of DSA candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (above) in New York's 14th District, consisting of Queens and the Bronx. The defeated establishment incumbent, Joseph Crowley, meanwhile, remains on the general election ballot due to a quirk in state voting laws. While this was a primary and should Ocasio-Cortez win as expected, it doesn't flip a reliably Democrat-voting seat, the vibrant and telegenic whipper snapper would become the most powerful politician in the second-largest borough in the largest city in the country.

But the power structure put in place over 20 years by Crowley will remain. That gives all those politically appointed public servants a perverse incentive to keep Ocasio-Cortez from winning the general election, i.e. The Machine remains behind the incumbent.

A vote split three ways without a majority winner would lead to a run-off and, needless to say, a lot of hurt feelings and bruised egos regardless of who prevails. And the current DNC leadership across the country will be next on the chopping block.

The greatest impact of a third-party candidate was seen during the aforementioned 1992 Presidential election, featuring two rich guys from Texas and a likable, randy, aw-shucks guy from Arkansas. Independent Ross Perot, while not winning a single state, did garner 19% of the popular vote.

If you assume the majority of Perot's votes were unhappy but Republican-leaning voters, Perot siphoned off enough votes from incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush that reliably red states, such as Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia and New Mexico went to Democrat (and eventual winner) Clinton. Additionally, key swing state Ohio and its 21 electoral votes were awarded to Clinton by a margin of roughly 100,000 votes. Perot came in 3rd in Ohio with 20% of the vote. If not for Perot we probably don't even remember who Bill Clinton is married to.

While this is currently only being seen in down-ballot local races, that is not what anyone in the Democratic Party, establishment or otherwise, should want the future to look like.

[KD]

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