As with all political terms, definitions of Liberal vs Democrat are fluid. However, generally speaking, Democrats are more left-leaning and support government intervention in social and economic issues. This includes advocating for a safety net, civil rights of minorities and other groups, environmental protection, gun control, more liberal immigration laws and less-strict taxes. The Democratic party is rooted in modern liberalism principles, which are beliefs that the state should uphold economic and social equality for everyone.
There are two broad types of liberal Democrats: Progressive Left and Establishment Liberals. Progressive Left voters have far-reaching views on virtually all issues and believe a large number of changes are needed to address racial injustice and expand the social safety net. In contrast, Establishment Liberals are less persuaded that the system is broken and favor fewer sweeping changes.
The biggest difference is that the Progressive Left believes that the government should be a major economic force while Establishment Liberals do not. They also differ on their approach to foreign policy, with Progressive Left supporters of a more aggressive military stance than Establishment Liberals.
The issue that has been the most significant divider among liberals is that of racial justice. The Progressive Left group is far more likely than the Establishment Liberal group to say that the current system needs a complete overhaul to ensure equal rights for all Americans regardless of racial or ethnic background. The other divider between the two groups is their views on gun control. Progressive Left voters tend to support more strict gun regulations while Establishment Liberals oppose them.