A new poll shows the radical socialist policies promoted by Justice Democrats are what comes to mind for many swing voters, and top Democrats are reportedly concerned it could lead to big problems in 2020.
The poll comes amid a fierce online feud between the four House Democrats – Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley – and President Trump, as well as bitter public squabbles with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a campaign to unseat incumbent Democrats.
Axios obtained copies of internal polling circulated by top Democrats in recent weeks that shows the vast majority of swing voters aren’t big fans of Justice Democrats – which call themselves “The Squad” – and constant media attention on the freshman lawmakers is creating headaches.
“If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the (House) majority at risk,” an unnamed “top Democrat” told the news site. “(S)he’s getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races.”
The poll involved just over 1,000 white general election voters with two years or less of college education, a key demographic for Democrats hoping to win back district Trump won over Hillary Clinton in 2016. The poll comes from May, well before the most recent public rifts between Democrats.
The pollster that conducted the work provided the results to Axios on the condition of anonymity.
The findings showed three quarters of voters recognized Ocasio-Cortez, but only 22 percent think favorably of her. Omar, of Minnesota, was recognized by 53 percent of voters, and only 9 percent had a favorable view of her.
The poll also questioned voters about their thoughts on capitalism versus socialism, another big win for Republicans.
“Socialism was viewed favorably by 18% of voters and unfavorably by 69 percent,” Axios reports. “Capitalism was 56% favorable; 32% unfavorable.”
The bottom line, according to the site’s “top Democrat”: “Socialism is toxic to these voters.”
The poll comes about a week after The Squad voted against a multi-billion bill to provide supplies and relief for migrants detained in border facilities for illegally crossing into the United States. Pelosi criticized the four lawmakers for grandstanding on the issue and braking with the party, telling The New York Times “they’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”
AOC fired back by accusing Pelosi of racism, alleging House leaders have engaged in “the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
The Congressional Black Caucus also chimed in to defend Pelosi and counter AOC’s accusations, pointing out that Justice Democrats are targeting incumbent Democrat lawmakers in safe districts and most of them are black or Hispanic.
The back and forth offered Trump a perfect opportunity to highlight the rift over the weekend, when he suggested Justice Democrats can leave the country if they’re not proud to be an American – an attack that forced Pelosi to defend the socialists and elevate their unpopular policies.
The saga continued at the annual Netroots conference in Philadelphia on Saturday, when three of the Justice Democrats promised to push forward with their audacious and radical policy proposals, which include everything from socializing government through the Green New Deal, to abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to “free” government funded healthcare and college for illegal immigrants.
“We never need to ask for permission or wait for an invitation to lead,” Omar said at the conference, according to the Associated Press.
Omar said there’s a “constant struggle oftentimes with people who have power about sharing that power.”
“We are not really in the business of asking for the share of that power,” she said. “We’re in the business of trying to grab that power …”
In the meantime, Buzzfeed reports Justice Democrats remain in denial about the party’s base, alleging the group of radical socialists have a much larger following than more practical Democrats.
“The base of the Democratic Party looks a lot more like AOC and Ayanna Pressley than Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer,” Waleed Shahid, a spokesperson for Justice Democrats, told BuzzFeed News. “There are way more young people, people of color, working-class people, and women. The base looks like these members, who supported her bid for speaker, not like the centrists or Blue Dogs who have been trying to oust her for years.”