Ted Cruz sticks to Mostly False claim about shrinking Democratic Party

Sen. Ted Cruz, shown here at the Sunshine Summit in Florida, finds our recent check of a claim "silly" (Getty Images photo).
Sen. Ted Cruz, shown here at the Sunshine Summit in Florida, finds our recent check of a claim "silly" (Getty Images photo).

After the first Democratic presidential debate Oct. 13, 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."

Cruz’s camp told us the Texas senator reached his "smaller and smaller and smaller" conclusion based on Democratic losses at the polls in the seven years Barack Obama has been president. That is, we found, Democrats have lost 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats, 11 governorships, and 910 state legislative seats.

But there are other ways to gauge if the party has been shrinking.

For instance, a Gallup poll measuring trends in party identification since 2004 found that 29 percent of Americans identified as Democrats in October 2015. In January 2004, when the posted poll data begins, 28 percent of Americans identified as Democrats. The 11-year high was 38 percent in March 2008 and March 2009.

According to Gallup, in October 2015, 25 percent of Americans identified as Republicans, 42 percent identified as independents. Support for the Republican Party hit a high of 39 percent in September 2004.

Another indicator: The national Democratic Party has lately raised more money from contributions than before.

For his part, Cruz said in a Nov. 15 post on Facebook: "If you want to know why everyone finds lefty journalists so ridiculous, take a look at this particularly silly PolitiFact…"

Read the full fact check here.

See Cruz’s full critique here.

What else?