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Blue Dog Democrat

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Blue Dog Democrats are a group or caucus of Congress who all belong to the Democratic Party. They identify themselves as conservative democrats who promote centrism, fiscal and social conservatism, and are found between the Centre-right and Centre-left of US Politics.

They are not a separate political party but are a grouping within the Democrats. They are sometimes referred to as the Blue Dog Coalition or just simply Blue Dogs. The group originated in 1995 following the loss of the House of Representatives in the face of Newt Gringrich’s Republicans. It was to provide a support base and a unified voice for conservative within the Democratic party.

It has been argued that the Blue Dog Democrat movement is merely the current incarnation of the Boll Weevils groups from the 1980s, and the Dixiecrat movement in the 1940s through to the 1960s.

During the 2010 election the membership of the caucus was cut in half overnight through the defeat of 28 members. This occurred again in 2012 when 13 members either resigned, chose not to run for re-election, or lost their re-election bids. Currently the number of members in the group stands at 15 members. The membership of the group is perhaps notable in the fact that eight of its members went on to become Republicans. The most recent being Parker Griffith in 2009.

The group itself is backed up by a political action committee known perhaps unoriginally as the Blue Dog Political Action Committee. During the 2009-10 Election cycle donated $1.2 million.

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