Democrats Are Not Very Excited About The Future Of Their Party

The 2016 election has dimmed Democrats' optimism, and cheered up the GOP.

Democrats are not feeling especially rosy about their party’s path forward, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey released Sunday finds. 

Just 13 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters say they’re enthusiastic about their party’s future, compared to 35 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters who say they are enthusiastic about the outlook for the GOP.

Fifty-one percent of the Democratic group say they’re at least satisfied about the outlook for their party, with 25 percent saying they’re dissatisfied and 13 percent that they’re upset. Among the Republican group, 71 percent say they are at least satisfied, with 16 percent dissatisfied and 6 percent upset.

The results mark a significant sea change since August, when, coming off of both parties’ conventions, Democrats were far more optimistic. In a HuffPost/YouGov survey conducted at that time, Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters were 28 points likelier than Republican and Republican-leaning voters, 71 percent to 43 percent, to say they were at least satisfied with their party’s future. Thirty percent of the Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters ― but just 8 percent of the Republican and Republican-leaning voters ― considered themselves enthusiastic during the summer. 

Democrats’ feelings of unity have also worn thin. In August, Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said by a 45-point margin, 63 percent to 18 percent, that the party was more united than divided. In the newest survey, they say so by only a 10-point margin, 45 percent to 35 percent, with a fifth saying they aren’t sure.

Republicans, meanwhile, have come together, although many still see their party as relatively fractured. After the conventions, GOP and GOP-leaning voters said by a 58-point margin, 71 percent to 13 percent, that the party was more divided than united. They now say by a 5-point margin, 45 percent to 40 percent, that the party is generally united.

Adherents of both parties now feel about equally warm toward their current elected officials. Sixty percent of voters who identify with the Democratic Party, and 59 percent of those who identify with the GOP, say they’re at least satisfied with their party’s elected officials, although just 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively, say they’re outright enthusiastic.

Hindsight has also changed the way each party feels about their presidential nominees. Just 41 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters now say Hillary Clinton was the Democrats’ best option for a nominee, down from 53 percent in an August survey. A 57 percent majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, in contrast, now say they consider Donald Trump to have been the best option, up from just 35 percent in August.

Overall, only 24 percent of all voters say Clinton was the Democrats’ best option, with just 30 percent saying that Trump was the best pick for the GOP.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 7-8 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.