If you hate the culture wars, blame liberals

But by 2017 that had changed completely. The average Democrat was at 2 while the average Republican was at 6.5. In other words, between 1994 and 2017, Democrats had gotten three points more liberal while Republicans had gotten about half a point more conservative.

That takes us up to 2017, by which time Democrats were quite obviously farther from the median voter than they had been in 1994 or 2004. And it showed: Our election victory in 2020 was razor thin even though (a) the economy sucked, (b) we were in the middle of a pandemic, (c) voters had had four years to see just what Donald Trump was really like, and (d) our candidate was bland, amiable, white, male Joe Biden. This should scare the hell out of liberals...

Now: maybe you're personally delighted by the Democratic Party's leftward march and maybe you're not. It doesn't matter. Despite endless hopeful invocations of "but polls show that people like our positions," the truth is that the Democratic Party has been pulled far enough left that even lots of non-crazy people find us just plain scary—something that Fox News takes vigorous advantage of. From an electoral point of view, the story here is consistent: Democrats have stoked the culture wars by getting more extreme on social issues and Republicans have used this to successfully cleave away a segment of both the non-college white vote and, more recently, the non-college nonwhite vote.