Far-left progressive and socialist candidates continue to gain significant traction at both the federal and state levels of government
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (November 29, 2022) – A new analysis of the 2022 midterm election conducted by The Heartland Institute’s Socialism Research Center finds that socialist candidates in federal and statewide elections were overwhelmingly successful in their bids for elected office.
In total, 132 socialist candidates were tracked — 78 at the state level and 54 at the federal level. Our analysis found 120 of these far-left candidates were victorious (a 90.9 percent victory rate). Candidates were identified as “socialist” by examining endorsements by socialist organizations, such as Our Revolution and the Democratic Socialists of America.
The average margin of victory for socialist candidates was more than 30 percentage points over the second-place finisher, even after excluding uncontested races. This likely indicates that socialist and progressive groups targeted districts during the primaries that they knew Democrats would easily win in the general election, rather than sponsoring candidates and investing resources in races where Republicans were likely to run competitive campaigns.
Overall, the continued success of radical leftist politicians and the replacement of more moderate centrist Democrats is a cause for alarm and should serve as a wake-up call to both conservatives and the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
For more information about this report’s methodology and results, please refer to the study, found here.
The following are comments by the SRC’s fellows who conducted the study.
“Republicans should be concerned by these numbers, especially because their utter failure in the midterms to produce a coherent and unified policy platform is a factor in socialists’ success. Yet, independents and moderate Democrats should be equally concerned; I have a hard time believing that most independents and centrists desire to live in a nation in which health care is nationalized, immigration enforcement is abolished, all student loan debt is canceled, universal basic income is handed out like candy, our entire energy grid is deconstructed in favor of ‘green’ solutions, and taxes are dramatically increased to pay for it all.”
“It should not be all that surprising that more socialist candidates continue to win elected office considering that today’s powerful institutions—namely the media, academia, Hollywood, social media, and many more—are pushing the narrative that socialism is superior to free-market capitalism, and that collectivism should trump individual freedom. It is especially worrisome to note that young voters, who turned out in record numbers for this midterm election, overwhelmingly voted for far-left, socialist candidates. Make no mistake, the progressive left embarked on their ‘long march through the institutions’ strategy decades ago, and it is paying huge dividends.”
“The results outlined in this analysis highlight an effect of a trend that I believe is going to become more pronounced in coming years – that red states are becoming more red and blue states are becoming bluer. This effect is an increased electability of radical socialist candidates in many deep blue areas of the country. As this ideology gains an increased foothold in American politics, you’ll likely see a leftward shift in the Democratic party and a further embrace of socialist platforms.”
For more information, or to speak with experts about this Policy Brief, please contact VP and Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] or call 312/377-4000.
The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.