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Wed Oct 10, 2018, 04:14 PM

What the Primaries Say About the Future of Democrats

Last edited Wed Oct 10, 2018, 04:56 PM - Edit history (1)

The progressive movement is energized, but there is not much evidence that it is taking over the party.

'During the Democratic primaries this year, the headlines about what was happening in the party were both breathless and contradictory. The most common message, though, was that a segment of the Democrats had lurched far left and was engaged in a “civil war” with the party establishment. These Democratic Socialists, this version goes, were “conquering” the Democratic Party.

Now that the primaries are over, we can make some more definitive conclusions. Bottom line, the progressive movement is energized, but there is not much evidence that it is taking over the Democratic Party or pulling it far to the left.

My organization, the Brookings Institution, has studied, starting in the 2014 midterms, the websites of every candidate running for Congress in both parties. . .

The first thing we noticed is that there were many more self-identified progressives running in 2018 than in 2014 or 2016. .
.

But in spite of their large numbers, progressives did not do as well at the polls as the candidates we identified as establishment Democrats. This past primary season, 140 establishment candidates, or 35 percent of the total establishment candidates, won their primaries, in contrast to 101 progressive Democrats, or 27 percent. . .

As all this shows, the Democratic Party is not having a big left-wing shift. So what is the real news from the primary season?

First, a new generation is entering Democratic politics, and many of them are female. In 2014 only 21 percent of House Democratic challengers were women, but by 2018 33 percent were.

The surprise victories of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th Congressional District and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts’s Seventh Congressional District were important because both candidates were relatively young women of color who reflected the changes in their district. . .

Second, the most successful endorsement group in the 2018 primaries was not Our Revolution or any of the other new progressive political action groups — it was that most staid of all organizations, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which won 39 of the 41 races in which it endorsed a candidate. . .

Third, progressive candidates brought both a new energy and a new issue to the table this year. . .

The new issue was Medicare for All. . .

But in the meantime, it is not the kind of idea that will cause a civil war inside the Democratic caucus. As we go into the November elections, the notion that the Democratic Party has been captured by the extreme left simply doesn’t hold water.'

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/opinion/democrats-primaries-progressives-democratic-socialists-.html?

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Reply What the Primaries Say About the Future of Democrats (Original post)
elleng Wednesday OP
murielm99 Thursday #1
KPN Thursday #2
elleng Thursday #3
lagomorph777 Thursday #4

Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 12:43 AM

1. This post deserves more attention.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 11:33 AM

2. This seems like a realistic assessment to me.

We are not at war within the party. It’s more like we have been having the internal dialogue and debate necessary to make us a stronger, more cohesive, bigger and more powerful party overall.

From my perspective (and not necessarily others’) there is no question that the party as a whole is more progressive today across the full range of issues than it has been for quite some time. It is relative. The important thing is our overall perspective. If any one of us perceive that the party is more closely are aligned with and supportive of our individual position and goals than it may have been in the past, that is a good thing — not a divisive thing. We are not internally at war. We clearly the party that genuinely cares about and works for the benefit of all people period!

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Response to KPN (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 11:49 AM

3. Thanks

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 03:12 PM

4. What about overall Dem primary turnout?

That's what I'm really interested in.

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