What Is a Blue Dog Democrat?

A Blue Dog Democrat is a member of the Democratic party in the U.S. House of Representatives whose political philosophy tends to be more moderate or conservative than those of the more liberal Democrats in the body. Blue Dog Democrats strongly advocate for fiscal responsibility over increased government spending.

Rep. Pete Geren of Texas coined the term "Blue Dog Democrat" by claiming that other members of the party had "choked blue" their more conservative colleagues. Blue Dog Democrats descend from the "Boll Weevils," a group of Southern Democrats who supported President Ronald Reagan's proposal of tax cuts. The newer group formed in 1994 to unify themselves and give increased power to Democrats who generally support a more moderate political position on the issues.