It is not enough for Trump to lose in November. He has to lose by a large margin and drag the Republican party down with him, resulting in them losing their Senate majority and becoming an even smaller minority in the House of Representatives, in addition to losing a lot of down ballot races for governors, state houses, and local elections. I would dearly love to see Mitch McConnell, a truly odious and unprincipled politician, lose his Kentucky senate race but he is a very dirty and skillful political fighter and that is unlikely to happen even though his challenger Amy McGrath is putting up a good fight and may be able to pull off an upset.
Meanwhile, there are some interesting races going on where progressives are challenging the Democratic party establishment. Ryan Grim and Aida Chavez write that in Texas, long a Republican stronghold, progressives Candace Valenzuela and Mike Siegel look like they may win their primary races for the chance to flip Republican held seats in November. This has also resurfaced a perennial debate in Democratic party circles, as to whether you are more likely to win with a progressive candidate or a so-called ‘moderate’ one when challenging a Republican-held seat. Progressives point to Katie Porter and Mike Levin who were two progressives who won in formerly Republican seats and Porter, one of the most effective congresspersons, has effectively turned her district blue.
If Siegel and Valenzuela maintain their leads and win their general elections, it means that a progressive message can not just win a primary in suburban New York or Chicago — as Mondaire Jones and Marie Newman showed, respectively — it can flip a red district too. That would put pressure from the left on Democratic incumbents in suburban districts, many of whom have not yet established name recognition, and could be vulnerable to challenges.
But Texas has always been a bit of a tease, holding out hopes for Republican losses only to elect them in November, so we should not get out hopes up too high.
Ryan Grim also looks at other races around the nation. In one, a highly conservative pro-Wall Street Democratic incumbent in Missouri William Lacy Clay is locked in a fight with a progressive challenger Cori Bush in the primary election to be held on August 4th. Clay has sided with Trump’s positions and this is hurting him.