Why Are An Elephant And A Donkey The Party Symbols
The Democratic party is often associated with the colour blue and the donkey mascot.
That dates back to Democratic candidate Andrew Jackson’s 1828 presidential campaign, when opponents called him a “jackass” for his stubbornness.
Instead of taking the nickname as an insult, Jackson embraced it and used the donkey image on his election posters.
It was then quickly adopted by newspapers and political cartoonists.
The Republican’s elephant symbol came along years later.
Many believe it came about, in part, due to a widely used expression during the Civil War led by Republican president Abraham Lincoln.
Soldiers entering battle were said to be “seeing the elephant” a phrase that means learning a hard lesson, often with a profound cost.
The symbol was then popularised by political cartoonist Thomas Nast; an early rendition featured in the 1879 edition of Harper’s Weekly.
Both symbols are still largely used for political campaigns.
Red States Outnumber Blue States
In February 2016, Gallup reported that for the first time since Gallup started tracking, red states now outnumber blue states.
In 2008, 35 states leaned Democratic and this number is down to only 14 now. In the same time, the number of Republican leaning states rose from 5 to 20. Gallup determined 16 states to be competitive, i.e., they leaned toward neither party. Wyoming, Idaho and Utah were the most Republican states, while states that leaned the most Democratic were Vermont, Hawaii and Rhode Island.
Republican Vs Democratic Demographics
Interesting data about how support for each party broke down by race, geography and the urban-rural divide during the 2018 mid-term elections are presented in charts here.
The Pew Research Group, among others, regularly surveys American citizens to determine party affiliation or support for various demographic groups. Some of their latest results are below.
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Bipartisanship At The State Level
In Iowa, Democratic and Republican lawmakers swiftly found areas of agreement on police misconduct in a bill that passed just 17 days after Floyd was killed.
Iowa state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton,;who managed the bill in the House,;said Republicans were ready to send a message that Iowans could find common ground on those issues.;
It was important for us as Iowans, whether youre a Democrat or a Republican, to show the rest of the country that;we can work together on this, he said.;Read the story;
Thats just one example of state lawmakers finding common ground. In Oregon, Millennial lawmakers came together across partisan lines to address common generational challenges such as helping their peers tackle student loan debt; in Wisconsin, one issue bringing lawmakers together is youth mental health.
What Is The Difference Between Republicans And Democrats
Republicans and Democrats are the two main and historically the largest political parties in the US and, after every election, hold the majority seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the highest number of Governors. Though both the parties mean well for the US citizens, they have distinct differences that manifest in their comments, decisions, and history. These differences are mainly ideological, political, social, and economic paths to making the US successful and the world a better place for all. Differences between the two parties that are covered in this article rely on the majority position though individual politicians may have varied preferences.
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Republicans Vs Democrats: Where Do The Two Main Us Political Parties Stand On Key Issues
After an impeachment, a positive coronavirus test and an unforgettable first presidential debate rounded out the final months of Donald Trump’s first term, it seems fair to say the past few years have been a roller-coaster ride for US politics.
On November 3, Americans will decide which candidate will win the 2020 presidential election, sparking either the beginning, or end, for each nominee.
But how does it all work?
Well, the US political system is dominated by two main parties the Democrats and the Republicans and the next president will belong to one of those two.
Just how different are their policies?
Here’s what you need to know, starting with the candidates.
Growing Share Of Americans Say There Are Major Differences In What The Parties Stand For
A majority of Americans say there is a great deal of difference in what the Republican and Democratic parties stand for, while 37% see a fair amount of difference and 7% say there is hardly any difference between the two parties.
These opinions have changed dramatically over the past three decades. From the late 1980s through the mid-2000s, no more than about a third of Americans said there were major differences between the two parties. But the share expressing this view has increased, especially over the past decade.1
In the current survey, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say there are major differences in what the parties stand for .
In both parties, people who are attentive to politics on a regular basis are more likely than those who are less attentive to see wide, growing divides in the country.
Most Republicans who say they follow what is happening in government and public affairs most of the time perceive a great deal of difference in what the Democratic and Republican parties stand for . Among Republicans who follow government and public affairs less often, a smaller majority says there are major differences between the parties. Among Democrats, there is a similar gap in views by engagement; 70% of politically attentive Democrats see a wide gulf between the parties, while just 49% of less-attentive Democrats say the same.
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History Of The Democratic And Republican Parties
The Democratic Party traces its origins to the anti-federalist factions around the time of Americas independence from British rule. These factions were organized into the Democrat Republican party by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792.
The Republican party is the younger of the two parties. Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party rose to prominence with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals towards the end of the 19th century.
Since the division of the Republican Party in the election of 1912, the Democratic party has consistently positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party in economic as well as social matters. The economically left-leaning activist philosophy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced American liberalism, has shaped much of the party’s economic agenda since 1932. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition usually controlled the national government until 1964.
The Republican Party today supports a pro-business platform, with foundations in economic libertarianism, and fiscal and social conservatism.
Regulating The Economy Republican Style
The Republican Party is generally considered business-friendly and in favor of limited government regulation of the economy. This means favoring policies that put business interests ahead of environmental concerns, labor union interests, healthcare benefits and retirement benefits. Given this more pro-business bias, Republicans tend to receive support from business owners and investment capitalists, as opposed to support from labor.
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Most Americans Say Partisan Disagreements Extend Beyond Policies To Basic Facts
Fully 73% of the public says that most Republican and Democratic voters not only disagree over plans and policies, but also disagree on basic facts. Just 26% say that while partisan voters often differ over plans and policies, they can agree on basic facts. These opinions have changed only modestly since last year.
Comparable majorities of Republicans and Democrats say that Republican and Democratic voters cannot agree on basic facts.
Finan: Finding Common Ground Between Republicans Democrats Is Essential For The Future
Americans need to build cross partisan solidarity and find common ground to get things done. Though now, more than ever, Americans seem to hate each other. Even among independents, their partisan preference is based not on which party they agree with, but which party they disagree with and fear the most.;
While there is a great deal of policy disagreement between Republican and Democratic voters, there are actually a number of issues on which they agree.
As we get closer to the most consequential election of our lifetimes and perhaps in American history violence between the left and right may increase. Both sides of the political spectrum are armed: the right began arming after 2008 amid fears of impending gun control that never happened, and eight years later, after the 2016 election, liberals and leftists likewise took to arming themselves.;
While both sides arming themselves can be seen as a deterioration of Americas willingness to compromise, there is a bright side. As Americans to the left of center develop a gun culture of their own, there will be fewer people who know very little about guns demanding that we institute sweeping and ineffective bans.;
One of the most common complaints from gun owners about liberals is that they dont know anything about guns. As liberals arm the Democratic Partys base of institutional knowledge on the topic will expand, leading to more nuanced policy discussions.;
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Education Doesnt Help Either
Education is intended to make us better informed about the world, so wed expect that the more educated you become, the more you understand what other Americans think. In fact, the more educated a person is, the worse their Perception Gap with one critical exception. This trend only holds true for Democrats, not Republicans. In other words, while Republicans misperceptions of Democrats do not improve with higher levels of education, Democrats understanding of Republicans actually gets worse with every additional degree they earn. This effect is so strong that Democrats without a high school diploma are three times more accurate than those with a postgraduate degree.
What Republicans And Democrats Have In Common
When Obama was president, Democrats condemned Republicans for trying to filibuster to block Obamas Supreme Court nominee. Today, Republicans condemn Democrats for the exact same thing. Republicans condemn it now, Democrats condemned it then.
Whats common to both sides? Lack of principle. When you have principles, you stick to the right thing, as your principles define it. This is something neither Democrats nor Republicans do.
Partisanship is not principle. Partisanship means rooting for your own side, regardless of whats right or wrong. With partisanship, there is no right or wrong. We saw that with the RyanCare vote, the faux repeal of Obamacare. The majority of Republicans said, Vote for this, regardless of the content. Their only argument was for partisanship. They could not defend RyanCare as a repeal of Obamacare, because it was not a repeal of Obamacare. Its point was merely to give Republicans a win.
People may be largely ignorant and badly misled in todays world. But I believe many can sense the lack of attention to principle. Thats why theres so little respect for both parties in the first place. America was a country founded on principles. Partisans ignore principles, and in the process demoralize people who need someone to stand up for something solid.
The nomination of a Supreme Court justice is a rare opportunity to stand up for principle. Just once, Republicans ought to do it.
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Isanship A Factor In Views Of Neighbors
For many Republicans and Democrats alike, the extent to which they might get along with a new neighbor might depend on who that neighbor is and their partisan affiliation.
Majorities in both parties say the party affiliation of a new neighbor wouldnt make it any easier or harder to get along with them, But roughly four-in-ten Republicans and Democrats say it would be a lot or somewhat easier if the newcomer were a Republican or were a Democrat, respectively. Comparable majorities of each side think it would be neither easier nor harder to get along with a newcomer who identified with their own party. Very few think it would be harder to get along with a member of their own party who moved to the community.
But just as some find it easier to get along with those who share their partisan affiliation, some say it would be more difficult to get along with a member of the other party: 31% of Democrats say it would be harder to get along with a new person in the community if they were a Republican, while nearly as many Republicans say it would be tougher to get along with a new Democratic neighbor.
About six-in-ten Democrats say having a new neighbor who is a member of the GOP would make it neither easier nor harder to get along, and 7% say it would be easier. Seven-in-ten Republicans would react neutrally toward a new Democratic neighbor, and just 1% say it would be easier to get along with them.
History Of The Republican Party
The Republican Party came into existence just prior to the Civil War due to their long-time stance in favor of abolition of slavery. They were a small third-party who nominated John C. Freemont for President in 1856. In 1860 they became an established political party when their nominee Abraham Lincoln was elected as President of the United States. Lincolns Presidency throughout the war, including his policies to end slavery for good helped solidify the Republican Party as a major force in American politics. The elephant was chosen as their symbol in 1874 based on a cartoon in Harpers Weekly that depicted the new party as an elephant.
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Relation To Marital Status And Parenthood
Americans that identify as single, living with a domestic partner, divorced, separated, or widowed are more likely to vote Democratic in contrast to married Americans which split about equally between Democrat and Republican.
General Social Surveys of more than 11,000 Democrats and Republicans conducted between 1996 and 2006 came to the result that the differences in fertility rates are not statistically significant between these parties, with the average Democrat having 1.94 children and the average Republican having 1.91 children. However, there is a significant difference in fertility rates between the two related groups liberals and conservatives, with liberals reproducing at a much lower rate than conservatives.
Majority And Minority Leaders
The positions of party floor leaders are not included in the Constitution but developed gradually in the 20th century. The first floor leaders were formally designated in 1920 and 1925 .
The Senate Republican and Democratic floor leaders are elected by the members of their party in the Senate at the beginning of each Congress. Depending on which party is in power, one serves as majority leader and the other as minority leader. The leaders serve as spokespersons for their party’s positions on issues. The majority leader schedules the daily legislative program and fashions the unanimous consent agreements that govern the time for debate.
The majority leader has the right to be called upon first if several senators are seeking recognition by the presiding officer, which enables him to offer motions or amendments before any other senator.
The majority leader usually works closely with the minority leader so that, as Senator Bob Dole explained, “we never surprise each other on the floor.” The party leaders meet frequently with the president and with the leaders of the House of Representatives. The majority leader also greets foreign dignitaries visiting the Capitol.
2 Henry Cabot Lodge continued to serve as unofficial Republican leader.
4 Charles Curtis resigned his Senate seat on March 3, 1929, having been elected vice president of the United States.
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What Do The Libertarian Party & Democrats Have In Common
In a political environment where third party candidates struggle to win major elections, Libertarian votes tend to become “swing votes” sought after by both Democratic and Republican candidates. Since traditional Libertarians share some values with Democrats and some with Republicans, it’s often difficult for commentators to predict which side of the aisle will benefit from the Libertarian vote. Although the Libertarian platform features a strong focus on individual liberty, and the Democratic platform revolves around fairness and community action, there are plenty of important issues on which members of both parties tend to agree.
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Challenging The Narrative Of A Divided America
Across the country, USA TODAY Network reporters sought to identify ways individuals and elected officials are working across perceived divides partisan, racial, religious or otherwise to make a positive impact in their communities.
We are calling these examples Strange Bedfellows, not because they are odd in and of themselves, but because, collectively, they run counter to the narrative of a hopelessly divided nation.
Beyond high-profile efforts such as the decision to revamp the Mississippi state flag, we found people in dozens of communities working to address the kinds of racial divisions highlighted in the wake of the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga. and Breonna Taylor in Louisville at the hands of police.
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Crime And Capital Punishment
Republicans generally believe in harsher penalties when someone has committed a crime, including for selling illegal drugs. They also generally favor capital punishment and back a system with many layers to ensure the proper punishment has been meted out. Democrats are more progressive in their views, believing that crimes do not involve violence, such as selling drugs, should have lighter penalties and rehabilitation. They are also against capital punishment in any form.