The Democratic base is more satisfied with their party than the Republicans base is with theirs, according to Pew Research.
A plurality of Republican-leaning voters think the Republican party hasn’t done a good job of representing their views on the big issues of abortion, immigration, government spending and same-sex marriage. On the other hand, a plurality of Democratic-leaning voters think their party does good job representing them. Democrats give their party especially high marks on abortion and same-sex marriage
I often see discussions about why more incumbent Republicans get successfully primaried than incumbent Democrats, or why we haven’t see a liberal equivalent of the “tea party.”
While big outside money for campaigns and infrastructure to challenge the Republican establishment plays an important role, there is clearly a more fertile ground for primary challenges on the Republican side. There is more disagreement among regular Republicans which can be tapped.
The Democratic party gets relatively lower marks on economic issues like spending and immigration, issues which can divided their donors and regular voters, but the party has successfully focused on really delivering on social issues to keep their base relatively happy. For the moment it has worked, but might not for much longer.
The recent primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who has been the poster child for combining social liberalism with pro-corporate policies, might indicate this strategy could be losing its cohesive power as liberals seem to be effectively winning many of the so-called culture wars. We are probably only a few years way from issues like same-sex marriage being seen as settled.