Democratic socialist group: Voters lost faith in Democratic Party after 2016

An official with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) argued Tuesday that many voters lost faith in the Democratic Party following President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE’s victory in 2016.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe real reason Biden is going to the COP26 climate summit Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 MORE lost to Trump and people lost faith in the Democratic Party,” said Megan Svoboda, a national political committee member at DSA, in an interview with Hill.TV.

Svoboda also credited the 2016 election for helping DSA create a Democratic socialist movement that is more representative of voters.

"If we’re were thinking long-term, we have to be clear that we are different than the Democratic Party," she said. "We want to be of and for the working class — not fighting for the interests of millionaires and billionaires as the Democratic Party is."

Following Trump’s election, DSA said it saw a surge in popularity, growing from about 7,000 members to 50,000. Progressive lawmakers and candidates have also leaned into the DSA label.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — FDA advisers endorse Pfizer vaccine for kids Manchin: 'I think we'll get a framework' deal MORE (I-Vt.), who was endorsed by DSA last year, gave a forceful speech in June defending the political philosophy, characterizing it as an extension of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

DSA also scored a number of victories during the 2018 midterm elections, backing Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled Republican spin on Biden is off the mark House progressives call on Biden to end all new fossil fuel permitting MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibClimate advocates turn sights on Wall Street House progressives call on Biden to end all new fossil fuel permitting Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' MORE (D-Mich.).

The group is now hoping to rekindle its success in 2020 and has backed roughly 100 congressional candidates.

Svoboda told Hill.TV that the group is especially excited about one candidate in Texas — community organizer and farmer Heidi Sloan, who is running to represent the 25th Congressional District.

“This is an incredible opportunity for DSA to really show what it means to elect a Democratic socialist — someone who is going to really fight for the working class once they are elected and join forces with other DSA members,” she said.

Sloan will face fellow Democrat Julie Oliver in the March 2020 primary. The primary winner will face a long-shot bid against likely Republican nominee Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsThe CFPB's data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help Early redistricting plans show GOP retrenching for long haul Photos of the Week: Congressional Baseball Game, ashen trees and a beach horse MORE, who was first elected to Congress in 2013.

—Tess Bonn