Amid the differences on the Democratic primary debate stage, and the sub-divisions among Democratic voters, one thing has the ability to unify the left is their unfavourability of Donald Trump. When consulting various opinion polls from across the United States, Democrat determination to defeat Donald Trump is high and can be exemplified by their actions since the 2016 election.
The Gallup article “Electability of Democratic Nominee Outranks Issue Stances”, includes polls and statistics about the obsession to defeat Trump. Specifically, it states that 58% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents prioritize a candidate’s ability to beat the current president over their views on all other important issues. A different poll published by fivethirtyeight in September reported similar results, stating that 39.5% of Democratic respondents said the ability to defeat Trump is most important issue when selecting a Democratic candidate for the general election. The second most important issue recorded by the fivethirtyeight poll was health care with only 11% — the gap between the first and second most important issues reported by this particular poll (+28.5%) exemplifies the excessive interest of a Trump defeat for Democratic voters.
Such an enthusiasm to beat the current President comes as no surprise. In the mind of Democrats, the 2016 election should not have ever been won by Donald Trump. Election polls leading up to the 2016 election suggested that Hilary Clinton was an assured victor. The United States, and the world, were preparing for the first female President of the most powerful nation. For many, this would have been an amazing achievement by the continuation of a progressive precedent established with the election of the first African-American President. Instead, Americans decided to elect a wealthy New York businessman with no political experience. A victory that many believe contradicted the progressive achievements made by Barack Obama’s victory and an enormous disappointment for the continuation of such social progression. The reaction to such disappointment was almost immediate, with protests erupting all over the country on President Trump’s inauguration day.
Fast-forward to the midterm elections, Democrats reacted in an incredibly progressive way in an attempt to stifle Trump’s power and right their wrongs. Democratic voters elected the most diverse and progressive Congress to ever be instated. For example, the first ever Muslim women Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were elected; Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual female candidate, was elected as Senator; Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids were elected as the first ever Native Americans elected to Congress; and Alexandria Ocazio Cortez became the youngest ever elected representative. However, Democrat activism hasn’t stop there.
As can be observed in the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by the Democratic party, the impeachment hearings are speeding up. Starting on September 19th with the anonymous whistleblower complaint that Donald Trump withheld foreign aid from Ukraine to influence an investigation into a business deal between Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, the latest updates suggest that in the next few days the House Intelligence Committee will vote impeachment out of committee brining it to the floor of Congress. Such a vote will likely be passed in the Democratic controlled House of Representatives and then sent to the Senate to be voted upon. Democrats expect that the impeachment votes will have two plausible outcomes: 1. That Trump is impeached; or 2. Trump’s approval ratings will plummet leading up to the 2020 elections, influencing a Democratic victory.
All and all, opinion polls suggesting that Democrats are most interested with a Donald Trump defeat are backed-up by their reactions since his election. By creating new records in the midterm elections of 2016 and pursing impeachment, the Democrats are willing to set aside their differences on policy issues in order to regain their power in the White House, brining Trump down and reinstating their progressive ambitions.
(You can read the last article by Angelo D’Agostini here)