Researchers at the University of Michigan found that without a Republican in the White House, activists have moved away from broad anti-war coalitions like those mobilized under President George W. Bush.
Their study, which surveyed thousands of demonstrators between 2007 and 2009, found that the election of President Barack Obama took a huge percentage of Democrats out of the anti-war movement. That’s despite the fact that Obama has prosecuted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now Pakistan and Libya. —KDG
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.
“Since Democrats are more numerous in the population at large than are members of third parties, the withdrawal of Democrats from the movement in 2009 appears to be a significant explanation for the falling size of antiwar protests,” Heaney said. “Thus, we have identified the kernel of the linkage between Democratic partisanship and the demobilization of the antiwar movement.”