‘Squad Politics’ Has Backfired

‘Squad Politics’ Has Backfired Spectacularly on Democrats

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Leading national Democrats are having a bad case of buyer’s remorse for their embrace of the politics represented by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Squad. In fact, it’s proven to be so toxic that most of the party is running away from policies like renaming schools, toppling statues, and defunding the police.

American voters, no matter where they live, are not radical, or, at the very least, don’t see themselves as radical. Democrats across the country are rethinking their embrace of some radical policies after realizing the real-world consequences of passing them: streets and cities that are less safe, lingering bitterness over unnecessary culture wars, and conflict and friction in our schools as learning the basics is given short shrift in favor of radical teachings on race, gender, and sex.

The Squad has pushed the boundaries of politics beyond the breaking point and Democrats are having a hard time figuring out how to get back to the center.


It’s part of a barrage of evidence that the progressive activism of the Squad pushed the party’s image way left of where most voters are — even most Democratic voters.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, told Axios: “What I’m hearing at home — and what I’m focused on — are commonsense, bipartisan solutions — from tackling grocery and gas prices, to cutting taxes and fixing our infrastructure, to investing in law enforcement and fighting crime.”

Aides to several Squad members declined immediate comment.

A recent poll by the Democrats’ campaign arm offered little encouragement on issues that Democrats and The Squad have been pushing in recent months.


Sixty-one percent of swing district voters agreed with the statements, “Democrats in Congress are spending money out of control,” and, “Democrats are teaching kids as young as five Critical Race Theory, which teaches that America is a racist country and that white people are racist.” And 59% agreed with the statement, “Democrats are too focused on pursuing an agenda that divides us and judging those who don’t see things their way.”

The rejection of radical politics isn’t even close. In fact, there’s nothing in that poll — or in several other signs for Democrats — that offers any hope at all.

This is a seismic shift from just a year ago. The signs have built steadily throughout President Biden’s 13 months in office that Squad politics are problematic when you control everything:

30 House Democrats — the most in decades — have announced they’ll retire instead of running in November’s midterms. They see little hope of keeping the majority in this environment.

Democrats lose poll after poll of generic House matchups, which ask voters if they’d prefer an R or a D if the election were held today.

Republicans’ decisive sweep of statewide offices in Virginia was powered in part by Democrats’ failure to appreciate parents’ skepticism about public schools’ mask mandates, policies on transgender rights and approach to teaching about race.

Many swing voters think the party is too “preachy,” “judgmental,” and “focused on culture wars,” according to documents obtained by Politico. Sound like anyone we know?

The Squad may have millions of Twitter followers and legions of Instagram subscribers who hang on their every word, but the overwhelming majority of Americans who vote is more interested in the price of milk and why every time they get their gas tank filled it’s more expensive.

In racing back to the safety of the center, the Democrats are likely to trip over their own feet.


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