Voters abandoning Democrat party in droves as Dems take a hard turn to the left.

Bob Mercer posted some interesting numbers this week regarding the migration of voters in South Dakota.   While numbers of Republican voters remain steady, voters seem to be abandoning the Democrat party by the thousands:

Turning back the calendar two years, Republicans are down by 400-some, Democrats are down by 12,000-plus (yes, that number is correct), and independents / others are up by more than 11,000 (and yes, that number too is correct).

Read that here.

Whenever I read statistics such as that, I’m reminded of the 2014 election where former House Democrat Minority Leader Dale Hargens abandoned the Democrat party to run as a Republican for the state legislature, and made no bones about what prompted the switch:

Hargens was an interesting entry into the Republican primary because he is a legislator that already served for a number of years as  Democrat; and he was a Democrat Minority Whip and Democrat Minority Leader during that time. Hargens said he felt the Democrat party moved away from him in its surge to the left. He said the Democrat Party had “Turned the lights out”.

Read that here (Via SDLiberty).

When one of the recent Democrat party leaders decides that there’s no place for his views among the party faithful, it’s not surprising at all that they’re shedding voters at a mind-shattering pace. But it’s not just Hargens.

Former Democrat legislator Ryan Maher who served in the South Dakota State Senate from 2007-2014 discovered a conservative point of view wasn’t welcome in the Democrat Caucus, and found himself going GOP when he changed political party from Democrat to Republican in November 2010. As he noted in his statement at the time “since Jim Peterson and Julie Bartling have moved on, they made up the conservative wing of the Democrat party, there was really no reason for me to stay behind. ”

Senator Eldon Nygaard found himself in a similar position when he returned to the State Senate after election, with leadership that he found wasn’t aligned with mainstream South Dakota.  One article described Nygaard as having “a pretty moderate to conservative voting record.” and as a business owner his “philosophy regarding government’s role in society is more in line with the Republican Party.”

What other examples are there regarding the Democratic Party’s hard left turn? Two words: Bernie Sanders:

Free college tuition.  Doubling the minimum wage.  A single-payer, universal health care system.  Those are just a few of the campaign promises by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who does not try to hide that he embraces a form of socialism.


Despite his self-described socialist views, Sanders is experiencing an unexpected wave of popularity, and is drawing some of the largest, most electric crowds of any presidential candidate so far.

Read it here.

20 years ago…  possibly even 10 years ago, no one could have predicted that there was a real possibility a registered socialist could top the Democrat ticket for President.

When a self-described socialist is surging among Democrat voters, it’s a sure sign that business-owners and those with conservative views are going to continue to find the environment within the Democrat party less and less hospitable of a place to reside.

It’s evidenced by the continuing trend of impossibly strong Republican showings in elections, and it’s evidenced by the trend of people choosing to be independent, rather than put a D behind their names on that voter registration card.


34 Replies to “Voters abandoning Democrat party in droves as Dems take a hard turn to the left.”

  1. Rep. Mike Verchio

    Being an Illinois transplant ,1988 , I can make an observation concerning our legislature . In my 7 years of service in the House I believe that most ,not all , of the Dems in our legislature would be Republicans in Illinois .

    1. Anonymous

      When SD has so many legislators who are :”former” Democrats, and so many “Republicans” who vote for increasing government, raising taxes, and who oppose Republicans traditional prolife, 2nd Amendment, etc., legislation? Who needs Democrats?

      How many tax increases did Illinois boy Verchio vote for this last year? How much did they increase govt spending? How many new govt employees did they authorize?

      1. enquirer

        i think it’s very hopeful and good news for republicans, that the state’s active democrats have decided they want to ram their plane nosefirst into the cornfield at 600 mph, because those who could survive such a crash are more desireable partisans for them to associate with. if you want to get caught up in yet another round of “why aren’t we tough like the libertarians” whine, go ahead.

    2. Charlie Hoffman

      Mike I’ve said the same thing and believe it to be true. Craziest thing the GOP base could vote for next General Election (should the petition drive be successful) though would be to allow 3 Dems and 3 Indes to squelch the percentage of GOP voters down to equal status in redistricting matters. Elections mean things and if you want more representation on any committee find more winning candidates. Period.

      1. enquirer

        i would love to see the redistricting proposal that could artificially create any power for democrats without looking like a pile of silly string.

  2. mhs

    We have a single-payer, universal health care system. It’s called the VA. How’s that working out?

    We have free college tuition. It’s called the student loan program, where you borrow like crazy and then hope the loans get forgiven. How’s that working out?

    Let’s double the minimum wage so that a carry-out at Albertson’s makes the same as an entry-level MBA. How’s that going to work out?

    Great Britain imposed an 80% top tax bracket in the 60’s. All the wealthy moved their residency to other Commonwealth countries with lower taxes and put Britain into a lost decade of 15% plus employment. How’d that work out?

    France, the poster-child for failing to learn the lessons of history, has now done the same thing and its’ wealthy are moving . . . to former socialist countries in the Baltic. How’s that for irony?

    Now if we could just get Trump to leave the GOP and take the Hubbel’s of the world with him, some things might get done.

      1. enquirer

        LOVE the mention of bernie sanders. arthur brooks of the american enterprise institute was on cspan last weekend to talk about his book ‘the conservative heart.’ he was asked about sanders and gave the perfect one-line response to all of his plans: IF you do everything sanders proposes, you become greece. indeed.

        1. Winston

          I say, if we do “everything Sanders proposes,” where will the GOP find two trillion dollars to fund future unnecessary wars?

          Comparing Greece to the US is naive. A major part of Greece’s problem is that it joined the Euro. Greece and the US are like apples and oranges. The US has its own currency where Greece made the mistake to allow other nations to be paternalistically involved in their monetary policy.

          1. enquirer

            as a friedman-adherent, brooks was homing in on the significant shared characteristic between the u-s and greece: the massive ongoing and increasing debtload of unsupportable levels of socialist programs. the most chronically debt-ridden states in this country, especially california with an uncontrollable influx of illegal immigrants adding pressure to their social debtload, display obvious similarities. to wave them off with a glib “oh we’re so different” is the dumb move. *yawn* i suppose this opens up a whole can of your keynesian whoopa** on the friedman school now. whatever. brooks has a point and made it.

            1. enquirer

              we have to hear all the time about how south dakota is a ‘receiver state’ taking more in federal funds than it gives back through taxing its residents and visitors. being at someone else’s mercy carries an onus to do what south dakota does – adhere to a strict balanced state budget and carefully manage the tax debtload on a population that tops out below the national average income potential in nearly every job category. greece is obviously an e-u ‘receiver state’ at the mercy of germany and the other prosperous states, and they have an onus to balance things too but they don’t. making brooks’ general observation more precise, if south dakota took on the social program debtload of a california or a new jersey, WE would be greece.

              1. Winston

                South Dakota can get a way without a greater taxation because they know the Feds will show up with 2/3s of the state budget dollars.

                Greece obviously joined the Euro so they could force the greater members of the Euro to finance their fiscal budgets rather than deal totally with their woes internally with the further devaluation of the Drachma. Politically they have “created internal political cohesion through external conflict.” Greece is not going to war, but their entrance into the Euro has allowed their political leadership to blame Berlin rather than Athens, much as Pierre blames Washington for all of its problems…which causes the can to be kicked down the road even further without solvency.

                Joining the Euro has given Greece a greater line of credit, but it has also made it politically impossible for them to solve their long term financial woes when the absence of an internal monetary policy makes internal political solvency of the problem completely undoable. … Greek politicians can just keep blaming Berlin.

                Why do you think we have a teachers shortage in this state? We do not pay them enough and Pierre fails to adequately tax wealth; and unfortunately their is not a federal program to solve this one for South Dakota, yet. But in the mean time, Pierre accepts no responsibility for this issue and calls a commission to study a problem whose solution is already blatantly obvious…. never admitting, but hoping Washington will come to the rescue so that the wealth in SD won’t have to be taxed…. Yeah, we are like Greece. We might think we are the anti-Greece, but we are just as politically dependent on DC as Greece is on Berlin both monetarily and fiscally speaking.

                1. Anonymous

                  How many more seats will the SD Democrats lose here in SD in 2016? A friend called about that upcoming fundraiser in Vermillion. That party has really lost credibility!

                  1. Winston

                    Realistically, there are no seats to lose. SD Dems are currently at critical mass.

                    Republicans in South Dakota should be as concern as Democrats about the fate of the SDDP. Our republican form of government (small ‘r”) requires a give and take to work. In the absence of the Democratic party, the struggle then shifts to within the Republican party (and I think you are already beginning to see this happening) where two major factions emerge to battle it out for the heart of the party, which eventually leads to the collapse of the invincibility of the dominant party leading to re-emergence of the minority party, the Democratic party.

                    But that is a long term process, the Democrats in South Dakota cannot afford to just wait for this panacea and the Republicans cannot afford the heartburn of potential division if they want to indefinitely hold on to the upper hand in political matters in this state.

                    1. enquirer

                      republicans have to play both the republican and democrat sides when these arguments come along. it’s making some republicans crazy and frankly it does a disservice to the quality of the democrat argument.

                2. enquirer

                  winston – i read with interest your reply to my post stating that with the adoption of a blue-state load of social engineering WE would be greece. your response was fascinating.

                  i’m not shocked to read your remark that there is great wealth in this state which we don’t tax adequately. i assume it’s the vast amount of potential income tax that goes uncollected because we have no state income tax, as well as the increased business income taxes which could be but are not levied because of the out of state corporations who have negotiated tax breaks for coming here. i guess you have a point, although the missing income tax wealth would be mostly drawn from the mass of the state’s citizens, who can be shown to be just as under-the-national-average as the state’s teachers, but without the union clout to make more noise about it publicly. we of course need more unions too then to make more noise, and then we enter the debate over whether the extra load of union dues generates enough extra income at the end of the day in a state with such an overall growth ceiling in place. i don’t know where such a cycle of diminishing returns stops.

                  we hear from the few democrats with tax-growth plans that the revenue is there and we just need to do “economic development” as if nobody in the state has stumbled upon this boon to mankind before they brought it up. there are two truths here – first, republicans and chambers of commerce engage in economic development 24-7 and do everything they can do and we are where we are as a state with limited mineral wealth, and no great industrial base or large workforce. second, after calling for economic development as if we’ve never done it, the democrats have then called the adoption of a.c.a. “economic development,” the adoption of full funding of medicaid “economic development” etc etc through the worst sophistry ever employed.

                  i wrote further down in this blog that the quality of democrat arguments suffers when the republicans have to be the democrats too. but the democrat argument was suffering in the hands of democrats themselves long before this.

  3. Rep. Mike Verchio

    Why do you call them little old ladies . They are mature women who believe very strongly about their issues , at the very least show them some respect .

    1. Anonymous

      Save your preaching Chicago Mike.. Your surly, disrespectful, and disagreeable nature has earned you a notorious reputation.

        1. Anonymous

          The liberals continue to blame Bush for everything in the world, and their kissing cousins in SD.. the establishment moderates, continue to blame Nelson

          1. Anonymous

            I think they assume it must be third place Stace by all the RINO trash talking.

            Maybe you could hold a press conference with Rick Weiland to deny it?

  4. Anonymous

    Liberal fantasy land including whatever is left of the Democrats here in South Dakota. Their lives and experiences are so isolated they have never had to deal with the consequences of what they propose.

    Responsibility? That’s for someone else to deal with.

  5. Heisenberg

    It’s amazing to watch as the Democrats implode on the state level. They just don’t show much drive.

    But it’s even more amazing to see the national Republicans wildly careening toward the most catastrophic political party meltdown in the history of the United States.

    It’s just stunning that Donald Trump is now the leader of the Republican brand, despite the desperate attempts of the (former) orthodoxy try and try to destroy him, but just can’t because Trump is six steps ahead of them.

    Given the fights between the US House and the US Senate and the emergence of Trump as the party standard bearer, I have to wonder exactly what it is to be a Republican today.

    1. Per Curiam

      “I have to wonder exactly what it is to be a Republican today”

      Look at the Rep slate of presidential candidates: looks like Americans, talks like Americans, ideas that appeal to all Americans.

      Dems? A bunch of old men reminiscing about the good old days of FDR.

      Yeah, wonder away.

      1. Anonymous

        Dems? A bunch of old men reminiscing about the good old days of FDR. They are dying real quick now being replaced by Bill Maher fanboy potheads

  6. enquirer

    it’s simplistic to declare trump “the bearer of the republican brand” because we know its just a new way for you to attack the republican party from a new direction, rather than keep coming in with the tired old charges of “racist” this and “babykiller” and “heartless” that which frankly have worn thin except within the ranks of your own hardcore democrat activists.

    statistically, it’s the other way around, trump has selected certain issues that resonate the highest with his target demographic, which is the percentage of party members who have disgust for the professional politician class. his 25-28 percent support numbers in primary state polling right now reflect the size of this segment.

    over on the democrat side, bernie sanders is having his own success in a similar venture, saying what the democrats professional political class won’t say, promising things they won’t promise, and ladling red meat to the activists just like trump is doing. would you say sanders represents the entire brand of the democrat party? percentage wise he has more party support than trump, but since the democrat race is just a two-person affair, practically speaking, he’s not the frontrunner against mrs clinton, whose two-decades of white house machinations have prevented democrats from having a 20-person field of their own this time.

    if we had just one or two establishment candidates who were of sufficient strength in a field with trump, in a three-way race, a candidate like trump wouldn’t do as well as he’s doing in the highly fractured situation that exists now. statistically, trump has the highest negatives of any candidate in spite of his support, and the polling among other party segments and women in general show a massive obstacle is in the way of trump making the kind of support growth he’d need to actually win.

      1. enquirer

        i don’t believe in “dropping the mic.” that’s what al gore does when he starts his climate-change testimony before congress with the statement “the debate is over.” i believe i holding the mic after i’m done making my point, and then calmly answering every question and attack that results. that’s where i can reach common ground with others, or at least expose their ulterior motives in attacking me.

    1. Per Curiam

      “it’s the other way around, trump has selected certain issues that resonate the highest with his target demographic, which is the percentage of party members who have disgust for the professional politician class”

      Actually, Trump appeals to a wide swath of Americans, out-polling Hispanics on several issues when compared to the Dems..

      1. enquirer

        i would contend that it’s not thaaaaat wide. carson and fiorina together have more support collectively than trump if you want to parse numbers. and they do one important thing – add trump, carson and fiorina together and they comprise more than half of all republicans.

        i just saw trump on the oreilly factor tonight. not that oreilly is a careful interviewer, he’s not, but trump’s answer for everything is a variation of “the people running things are stupid and i will replace them with smart people,” which gets him off the hook for having to even know anything right now as hugh hewitt exposed in his interview with trump last week.

        all three have given voice to the great disgust most republicans have for the already elected officials running things at the top. carson does extremely well because he’s a fascinating person, and he is NOT trump which is good for people who don’t trust the donald and won’t trust him. fiorina has a growing fan club because she is like a sharpened sword diving straight at everything she aims for and hitting the mark over and over. people LOVE that.

        these three people and the huge support they generate will do this: it will hopefully rip open the door that gets slammed in the face of the beltway outsider once and for all.

        i can’t make myself get too caught up in trump because he doesnt want me to ask him for substance, just sizzle and that’s ok for me right now.