Image 01 Image 03

Progressive Primary Challengers to Incumbent Dems May Sink Party in 2018 Midterms

Progressive Primary Challengers to Incumbent Dems May Sink Party in 2018 Midterms

Republicans are the least of their worries.

Democrats are still feeling the sting of defeat over the presidential election and many of them are hopeful for some form of victory in the 2018 midterms.

They’re going to face a tougher opponent than the Republicans however, and it’s coming from inside their own party.

The Progressive movement, which makes up a significant portion of the party’s base, wants candidates who reflect their values and that doesn’t bode well for victory.

Alex Seitz-Wald writes at NBC News:

Democrats Beware: Sanders ‘Movement’ Turns to Midterms

With Democrats facing tough prospects in the midterm elections, will they also have to worry about primary challenges from their left flank?

During his presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders never quite decided whether his “political revolution” could coexist with the Democratic Party or needed to overthrow it. Now, Sanders is one of the most popular political figures in the country and the activists he galvanized have gone on to start new groups, join old ones, or run electoral campaigns.

The path of Sanders’ former staffers reflects the split in his movement, and the some are already galvanizing for the 2018 elections — and setting their sights on their own.

Rep. Keith Ellison, one of Sanders’ most prominent allies, preached unity during his bid for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee and is now the party’s deputy chairman.

But the more radical strain, which led hundreds of Sanders delegates to walk out of the Democratic National Convention in protest last summer, is still present on the left and emboldened by the loss of Hillary Clinton and their belief that “Bernie would have won.”

This faction of Democrats thinks that the solution to their problem is going further to the left. It is the exact wrong prescription for a party already on life support.

Dominic Lynch of The Federalist suggests that the Progressive movement could ultimately lead to the destruction of the Democrats as a party:

Is The Democratic Party Going Extinct?

November 8 revealed that the Democratic base is retreating to urban areas (mostly along the coasts). Their decision to cut bait with working class whites was a mistake. And the Obama coalition disintegrated as soon as Obama was off the ballot. Unless Democrats address these issues, they can expect to see even more losses over the next four years…

Progressivism Has Coopted The Democratic Party

Secondly, the policies of the Democratic party increasingly serve as an ideological purity test that lies outside the political mainstream. Internal dissent is often not tolerated. The party position on divisive issues like transgender bathrooms, wedding cake mandates, sanctuary cities, unlimited and unrestricted abortion access, and illegal immigration is mismatched with public opinion. Moderate Blue Dog Democrats, once a large part of the Democratic coalition, are all but extinct. This leaves a party consumed by progressive policies but without a counterbalancing ideology to keep the party apparatus in check.

Finally, the decision to excise the white working class from the Democratic coalition proved to be a fatal mistake. The Clinton team assumed it would win the “Blue Wall” states on the backs of reliable white working class voters who have voted Democratic since 1992 (and in some states, like Wisconsin, since 1984). But her rhetoric on coal, globalism, social issues and Trump’s temperament—combined with the fact that she campaigned around those states—doomed her campaign from the start.

If Democrats suffer even a minor loss in the 2018 midterms, expect to hear a gnashing of teeth almost as loud as the one heard on November 9th of 2016.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


casualobserver | March 21, 2017 at 8:42 am

The Bernie base only compounds their problems. The entire party has a fantasy that they will win on a platform of racial and gender politics and nothing else. Well, maybe throw in the “Trump is an illegitimate president” effort. Not sure if that survives all the way to the elections, but the media is doing their best keep it alive on their behalf.

Sometimes I wish conservative writers would stop pointing out how the Dimocrat party is killing itself by going too far left, and let them commit suicide. But then I remember that the progressive fundamentalists just ignore any ideas that are outside of their own religion, so it won’t have any effect on them.

Uhhh, didn’t we hear the same thing in 2010, about how the TEA Party right was going to shrink the GOP to irrelevance, and how the Democrats would be the majority party for the foreseeable future?

The GOP was dead, following the 1992 elections, right up until it wasn’t. The Democrats were toast following 2000, 2002 and 2004, remember?

Our system of single-member geographical districts creates a heavy bias for a two-party system, and thinking that the Democrats are dead (now) is just as relevant as all of the articles telling us how they were dead in the past.

    Tom Servo in reply to Dana. | March 21, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I think I agree with you – although we won’t find out for sure until 2018, I suspect that this hard-core left wing faction is a group that has a very vocal presence on social media and the net in general, but I doubt that they will make much of a mark on electoral politics.

    100,000 angry noisy people make a huge splash on the net, but spread around the country on election day they really aren’t that significant.

buckeyeminuteman | March 21, 2017 at 12:40 pm

All of those to the slight left of center have started to move over to the Republican side, as evidenced in November and as you seem to be counting on in 2018. The problem with that, Republicans are going to have to appease these working Democrats of old to keep them on the GOP side. By Democrats shifting to the Left, it’s going to pull Republicans further left as well. Sadly, the Tea Party values of old are giving way to repeal-in-name-only, don’t-worry-about-the-federal-debt, and other ideas which should not be tolerated by Republicans.

Never believe a party is dead . nature adhors a vacuum and if there are disaffected voters, they will seek the outsider, if that is a Dem , so be it .
The GOP needs to worry about itself .

Dems rely too heavily on vote purchasing using taxpayer funds. Those paying the taxes are getting tired of all of it. In addition, the dems favor replacing the citizens with the foreign born. Not one places the best interest of the country or the people first.

The Dems need to figure out how to win a rigged election!