The animal that represents the Democratic Party in the United States is the donkey. The association between the Democratic Party and the donkey dates back to the 1828 presidential election, involving one of the party’s founders, Andrew Jackson.
During the campaign, Jackson’s opponents tried to label him a “jackass” for his populist views. Jackson, however, turned this insult into a strength by embracing the donkey’s stubbornness and resilience as positive qualities. He used the image of a strong-willed donkey on his campaign posters.
The donkey symbol became more widely linked with the Democratic Party due to the political cartoons of Thomas Nast in the 1870s. In one cartoon, Nast drew a donkey kicking a dead lion, symbolizing a former Secretary of War whom the press had attacked.
The donkey is not the official symbol of the Democratic Party, but it is commonly associated with it. Similarly, the elephant is linked with the Republican Party, another symbol popularized by Nast’s cartoons. Both animals are frequently used in media and popular culture to represent the two major political parties in the United States.