PROGRAMMING ALERT: Watch “Fox News Reporting – Clinton’s Left Turn - A Political Insiders Special” this weekend. The show premieres Saturday at 8PM ET and airs again at 11 pm, 2 am and 4 am ET. It also airs again on Sunday at 10 pm ET, midnight and 2 am ET.
Fifty-six years ago, when John F. Kennedy was elected as our 35th president of the United States, Democrats retained total control of both houses of Congress.
Kennedy commanded a Democratic Party that believed in capitalism -- including tax cuts to generate economic growth; a vigorous military that could be used to oppose Communist expansionism; and a patriotism in which the United States proudly thumped its chest about our accomplishments, victories and generosity.
Now things are indeed radically changed. Today’s Democratic Party would be unrecognizable to JFK.
For example, consider the following questions:
· Would Kennedy possibly believe that more Iowa Democrats in 2016 identify with “socialism” than with “capitalism?”
· Would he have ever believed that 43 percent of Iowa’s Democratic caucus-goers self-identified as “Socialist?”
· What would JFK have thought of a Democratic president of the United States who never misses an opportunity to apologize for American behavior?
Would Kennedy possibly believe that more Iowa Democrats in 2016 identify with “socialism” than with “capitalism?”
· What would Kennedy have thought of that same twice-elected president of the United States embracing the very same Cuban regime that he, JFK, tried to over-throw in 1961?
· And what would he think about his party nominating someone whom 57 percent of American voters believe should be indicted for her handling of classified information?
We could go on and on, but the same question permeates today’s Democratic Party: what has happened to the party – and where is it headed?
Ideologically, the Democrats have moved toward the Radical Left – and abandoned the political center.
Hillary Clinton has traveled a long way from the days of JFK.
The 2016 Democratic Party platform also bears little resemblance to her husband’s centrist policies. Now, heavily influenced by Socialist Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the party has embraced the “public option” for free universal health care; an inexplicable “free college” plan with no realistic way to pay for it; and a “war” on capitalism and wealth.
As the Democrats convene in Philadelphia next week, we know where they are ideologically.
What we do NOT know is this:
· Can Clinton duplicate President Obama’s 2012 African-American turn-out?
· Will she turn out an increased Latino vote in key states to overcome her deficit among white voters?
· Do Clinton’s negatives negate Donald Trump’s own negatives?
· And, whether in an electorate crying out for “change,” if a candidate who has already lived in the White House for eight years and who represents the status quo can still win a national election.
The answers to these questions may well be the difference between victory and defeat for Hillary Clinton.
We will drill down on these issues and search for answers on "Fox News Reporting – Clinton’s Left Turn - A Political Insiders Special."
Please join us.
Patrick Caddell is a Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor. He served as pollster for President Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Joe Biden and others. He is a Fox News political analyst and co-host of "Political Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel.
Douglas E. Schoen has served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. He is also a Fox News contributor and co-host of "Fox News Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel at 7 pm ET. He is the author of 13 books. His latest is "Putin's Master Plan" (Encounter Books, September 27, 2016). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.