The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. The party under its present name was established by Andrew Jackson during the 1820s, but it traces its origins to Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party in 1792. It is one of the oldest political parties still in existence, if not the oldest. In so far as policies, the Democrats generally advocate civil rights and a free society with progressive policies on businesses, though there is a strong pro-business wing to the party. The party's traditional base is organized labor, but in the last half century has expanded to include intellectuals and environmentalists.
In the events of The West Wing, Josiah Bartlet and Leo McGarry have taken control of the party and have begun to steer its policies ever more leftward under McGarry's "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" plan, culminating in Matt Santos' nomination for president in 2006. Vice President John Hoynes leads a conservative faction of the party, and expected to take over after Bartlet, but was twice undone by scandal. Among the party's most influential policymakers are Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler; they feud over who should succeed Bartlet, with Lyman backing Santos and Ziegler briefly consulting with Ricky Rafferty.
The Democrats are portrayed as the more dominant of the two main parties, usually winning against Republicans policy- and election-wise.
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