Democrats are hurting their brand and appeal to voters by embracing candidates that hold very left-wing or even socialist views, writes John Fund of National Review. Such extreme policies could alienate a big portion of the electorate. Diane Feinstein, the moderate Democratic senator from California, is also losing popularity before her run for re-election. The party is gradually shifting leftward, as has also been seen with the popularity of Bernie Sanders and the recent rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Calls to abolish ICE, raise taxes and make health care free may be popular among liberals but could cost their party valuable votes.
The rapid rise of Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shows that the Democratic party can run and win with left-wing agendas, suggests Dylan Scott of Vox. The public has shown a growing interest in progressive ideas like Medicare-for-all, a federal jobs guarantee and tuition-free college. A 2016 Bankrate study found that 62% of the country and 77% of millennial support college being freely accessible. Enthusiasm for such policies only continues to grow, as more and more young people become eligible to vote. With the right candidates, Democrats can build a winning message built on left-wing policies.