Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., fear that the highly vocal progressive wing of the party will destroy Dem chances in the 2018 mid-term elections, according to a Saturday report from Politico.
Progressives continue to staff and fund protests of President Donald Trump’s policies, and activists are working to ensure that Democrats that don’t tow the party line suffer in their respective primaries in 2018.
“Here’s the challenge in many Southern states now: You have a more liberal primary base, because the more moderate voters are less likely to participate in Southern primaries, so it makes it more dicey.”
“That certainly presents an opportunity for candidates who want to make a point rather than win an election — those candidates are less likely to be successful in a general election,” Governor Jim Hodges of South Carolina told Politico.
“In Southern states you’re going to need candidates who have more moderate stances to be successful.”
Moderate stances like supporting widely-respected Judge Neil Gorsuch for the nomination to the Supreme Court are enough to guarantee a primary challenger to the left, according to last week’s statement by Credo Action’s Heidi Hess.
“A Democrat that votes for cloture on Gorsuch is a Democrat voting to overturn Roe,” Hess told The Hill recently.
“This is absolutely a fight they should be fighting and that we will hold them accountable if they don’t fight it,” she said.
But Democratic governors are trying to ease the partisan tension by reducing expectations of Democratic lawmakers in the Trump era.
“My hope is that Our Revolution — or anyone else — will understand that purity to a progressive ideal does not [necessarily] mean purity in service of the community,” Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams hold Politico. Adams intends to run for Governor in 2018.
Progressive former supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders were troubled by the rush to blame them for partisan infighting.
“The party needs to not see the progressive, Bernie wing of the party as a problem, but rather see it as an asset,” said Mark Longabaugh, a senior Sanders advisor. “The fact that, broadly speaking, candidates and operatives in the establishment wing see the Bernie wing — the activist part of the party — as a problem? That’s a problem in and of itself.”
Several progressive groups pledged to use the Tea Party’s grassroots tactics to fight the Republican Party nationwide after Trump’s inauguration. The Tea Party movement during the 2012 and 2014 races helped fuel conservative candidates like Sens. Ted Cruz and Joni Earnst to victory as they challenged less conservative Republicans during their primaries.
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