According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump’s tenure has not resulted in voters becoming more conservative, and instead, he is driving them into the arms of more liberal and progressive candidates at the local level who are then using their newfound power to change Democratic policies at the national level.
Trump’s negative influence is turning into a positive for those candidates — particularly in the big cities.
“From New York City to Los Angeles, many of the nation’s biggest cities have turned even harder to the left under President Donald Trump, putting pressure on local officials to embrace the leading progressive presidential candidates — or withhold their endorsements entirely for fear of antagonizing newly energized activists,” the report states. “It’s a drastic political shift in some places, where for decades entrenched party bosses crushed any signs of life on the left or tended to put the weight of big-city institutional support behind Democratic establishment-oriented candidates.”
According to one Democrat, the change is the result of how far to the right Trump has taken the federal government with the help of the GOP-controlled Senate.
“The election of Donald Trump changed everything for a lot of us,” explained Michael Gianaris, the New York Senate deputy majority leader who represents Queens . “The best way to defeat a troublesome zealot like that is to make the strongest case for dramatic change, and I think Bernie Sanders does that.”
Liberal Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner agreed, saying the change in mood has trickled upward to the Democratic presidential candidates.
“You’re watching an election cycle in which presidential candidates have reason to want the endorsements of big-city progressive D.A.s because they’re having to answer questions at debates like, ‘Do you think people who are actually incarcerated should vote?’” he explained. “That’s not even a question you would have heard eight years ago.”
“The reason big-city elected officials are backing progressives is because when you are in a large city, you realize the incredible need for massive government solutions,” explained Monica Klein, a New York City-based progressive consultant. “You need a police department with 37,000 officers. You need a million tons of salt when it snows.”
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