Ted Cruz fact check about shrinking Democrats drew our most clicks in November

Our look into a claim about the shrinking Democratic Party by Sen. Ted Cruz, shown here at a December campaign stop, was our most-clicked fact check of November (Associated Press photo).
Our look into a claim about the shrinking Democratic Party by Sen. Ted Cruz, shown here at a December campaign stop, was our most-clicked fact check of November (Associated Press photo).

After the first Democratic presidential debate Oct. 13, 2015, Texas Republican Ted Cruz interpreted the crowd’s cheers for proposals to raise taxes as a reason for the decline of the Democratic Party.

The day after the debate, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked Cruz how he could appeal for votes from Americans cheering on Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator seeking the Democratic nomination, who has stressed how much more the very wealthiest Americans have than the rest of us.

"Well," Cruz replied, "it's why the modern Democratic Party is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. What does it say that they're having a hard time finding anyone to run for president who isn't nearly 207 years old? You're not getting new and fresh ideas."

Our look into whether the Democratic Party is shrinking proved to be our most-clicked fact check of November.

Cruz’s campaign spokesman said Cruz based his "smaller" statement on the losses the Democratic Party suffered in recent elections. "Cruz is referring to all the Senate seats, House seats, governors and state legislative seats lost during this administration," Rick Tyler said.

But, we recognized, there are other better ways to gauge if a party is shrinking. The party as a whole appears to be stable or has grown both in terms of the electorate and its party organizations. We ultimately rated Cruz's claim Mostly False.

Footnote: Our No. 1 most-viewed fact check of October concerned a Republican legislator’s tweet about Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders--and Hitler’s Germany.

Read the full Cruz fact check.

See Ted Cruz’s PolitiFact file.

See Bernie Sanders' Truth-O-Meter report card.