How Doctors Became Democrats

Written by David Zimmermann

The trend: Statistically, many doctors started becoming Democrats over a decade ago. One reason was that liberal graduates entered healthcare in droves, slowly outnumbering the older, more conservative physicians. But there are much larger trends at play.

What happened: Most doctors used to align themselves with Republicans because they ran private practices essentially as small business owners who preferred less regulation and fewer taxes. This meant they largely favored Republican policy for business purposes. But as the years went by, more doctors were pushed into large healthcare bureaucracies.

How we got here: The rules and regulations of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” shoved doctors out of private practices by making them more difficult to maintain. This meant they began aligning with massive institutions and adopting the standard diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) customs along with them. By 2020, most physicians were not working in private practice for the first time in history.

  • During the pandemic: The leftward trend accelerated after Republican backlash to COVID-19 lockdowns, mandates, and the medical establishment in general. At the same time, medical institutions — education, associations, and hospitals — began to align with political movements at the expense of scientific integrity.

Why it matters: Noticing the trend, activists have tapped into doctors as a key voter bloc. This played out strongly in Pennsylvania, a battleground state that voted blue in the 2020 election after healthcare institutions grew and doctors moved in.

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