Research on Obama’s election, Democrats, third parties, and the anti-war movement

Pull quote: “For members of third parties, holding radical political attitudes had a significant, positive effect on the likelihood that they would attend antiwar rallies. They also had a more negative view of Obama’s handling of Iraq, compared to Democrats, nonparty members and even Republicans.”

Excerpt from an article published at Spero News, which is being circulated by 2008 independent Congressional candidate and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan:

Did Obama’s Election mean the End of the Anti-War Movement?
The anti-war movement in the US may have become more anti-Republican than antiwar since 2003, say U-Michigan researchers.

By Bernie DeGroat / Thursday, April 07, 2011

Since 2003, the antiwar movement in the United States has had much to protest with Americans fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, but the movement—which has dropped off sharply the past two years—may be more anti-Republican than antiwar, says a University of Michigan researcher.

A new study by U-M’s Michael Heaney and colleague Fabio Rojas of Indiana University shows that the antiwar movement in the United States demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, first with Congress in 2006 and then with the presidency in 2008…

Their study found that the withdrawal of Democratic activists changed the character of the antiwar movement by undermining broad coalitions in the movement and encouraging the formation of smaller, more radical coalitions.

After Obama’s election as president, Democratic participation in antiwar activities plunged, falling from 37 percent in January 2009 to a low of 19 percent in November 2009, Heaney and Rojas say. In contrast, members of third parties became proportionately more prevalent in the movement, rising from 16 percent in January 2009 to a high of 34 percent in November 2009…

For members of third parties, holding radical political attitudes had a significant, positive effect on the likelihood that they would attend antiwar rallies. They also had a more negative view of Obama’s handling of Iraq, compared to Democrats, nonparty members and even Republicans.

“The withdrawal of Democrats from the movement led to the collapse of its largest and broadest coalition, which resulted in the fragmentation of the movement into smaller coalitions and left it relying more on individual organizations acting independently,”…

“Overall, our results convincingly demonstrate a strong relationship between partisanship and the dynamics of the antiwar movement. While Obama’s election was heralded as a victory for the antiwar movement, Obama’s election, in fact, thwarted the ability of the movement to achieve critical mass.”

Bernie DeGroat writes for the University of Michigan.

Study: Partisan dynamics of contention (PDF): http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mheaney/Partisan_Dynamics_of_Contention.pdf

17 thoughts on “Research on Obama’s election, Democrats, third parties, and the anti-war movement

  1. Robert Milnes

    The research didn’t go far enough.
    When & where did the idea of Obama getting nominated>elected originate?
    Not from himself I postulate.
    A supercomputer election scenario.
    Question to be calculated-since an anti-war progressive cannot be elected in America, how can the next best possible thing-a liberal-be elected?
    Alikely source of such research-U.S.Senator Edward Kennedy.
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick=Plan B.

  2. Robert Milnes

    But the original premise might be incorrect. It MIGHT be possible to elect a progressive via the democratic party. But again, it would probably have to be a black-or mulatto-man.
    Pehaps Kennedy’s research showed that and he decided to go for the liberal over the progressive. This would have been around the turn of the century. Obama & Patrick would have been found and appoached about then.

  3. Deran

    I have definitely noticed the drop off of Democrats publically opposing the wars. I wonder if the progressives and Left will stick with Obama, or put up a candidate?

    @5 LOL. Excellent.

  4. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    Yesterday’s Child: CBS and Walter Crankcase got to South East Asia, called the war ‘unwinnable’ LBJ announced that he will not run. Senator Eugene McCarthy was already running in the Democratic primaries.

    RFK could have volunteered to do ‘any thing’ the movement needed.

    RFK could have volunteered to do the ‘Veep Thing’.

    RFK could have just sat down and shut up and then waited to be asked.

    Oh, what could have been ……

  5. Sean Scallon

    A Ron Paul campaign would be a great way to jump start the anti-war movement and get the non-major party players on his side next year in a broad coalition campaign.

  6. Robert Milnes

    Ron Paul is so…yesterday.
    So…antiquated.
    So…obsolete.
    So…superfluous.
    Especially when bundled with Rand.
    Are counterrevolutionary tendencies genetic or familial…or contageous?

  7. Robert Milnes

    Of course there is going to be a 2012 Ron Paul campaign. He must know he cannot win. But so what? There is another $35 million to be had.
    To be sucked out of the anti-war movement to wind up through Ron & Rand to the warmongering GOP. More or less. Directly or indirectly. Sooner or later.

  8. Robert Milnes

    It is far more difficult to put a $ figure on how much the anti-war movement wasted on Obama.
    The Oily Bomber.
    So the environmentalists wasted undetermined $ on him also.

  9. 1912 Is So Cutting Edge

    Milnes: Ron Paul is so … yesterday.

    Whereas is Milnes is so … last century.

  10. MN Indy

    I have never seen such an unrepentant pack of hypocrites as the Obama voters who howled about Bush’s “illegal wars” for years. The anti-war movement totally collapsed when he was elected, and they made it happen. Half of them are even now busily applauding the “human rights” war in Libya.

  11. Margot@ChatAndPonder

    Interesting stats about Dems vs. third parties anti-war movement. I think one of the reasons could also be the fact that some Dems and Repubs left their respective parties. They simply got sick and tired of partisan bickering and hypocrisy.

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