Progressive wins in Republican areas

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.


  1. billseymour says

    Lacy Clay represents Missouri’s first congressional district, basically the City of St. Louis and north St. Louis County. He easily won the Democratic primary, and the general election, in 2000, replacing his father, Bill Clay, who was the U.S. Rep. for 32 years. He’ll be hard to beat.

    I won’t be able to do anything about it because I vote in the second district. I often vote in Republican primaries because my district is Gerrymandered Republican and so, for down-ballot races, the Republican primary is the only election that actually matters. I’ll probably be voting in the Democratic primary this August, though, because it looks like we might have some progressive candidates that have a shot in the general, especially if the blue trend continues. (Let’s hope.)

  2. blf says

    @1, I presume that when you say you’re voting in the thugs’s primaries, you’re doing what is called “tactical voting” here in Europe — trying to ensure the thug’s eventual candidate is someone highly unlikely to be elected; i.e., easily beaten by the dummie’s candidate in the general election. Or, since apparently it will “always” be a thug who wins, voting for the least-objectionable thug, mostly to the keep the more-odious other thugs from being the candidate and hence probable winner.

  3. says

    I was thinking it wouldn’t be so bad to see McConnell keep his seat but lose all his power, but he wouldn’t lose all his power. The Republican’s won’t go down to 40 seats, the press will continue to be stenographers without pushing back and asking about his hypocrisy, and Biden will insist on being bipartisan and working across the aisle because he was sleeping for the eight years he was VP and didn’t pay attention to how that worked for Obama. The DNC are having a Tea Partier speak at their convention, for frack’s sake!

  4. billseymour says

    blf @2: yes to both techniques…it depends on the particular office and candidates.

    I do my research, at a minimum checking out the candidates’ Web sites. Sometimes they’re hard to tell apart, though:  there’s lots of guns for Jesus and paying more rents to rentiers.

    Sometimes it doesn’t work very well. For example, I confess that I voted for Missouri’s now disgraced ex-governor, Eric Greitens (in the primary, not the general), so I guess I need to own that. I thought that “Rhodes Scholar” meant something. (I still think it means something; but you can’t infer from that datum very much about any individual. I should have known that.)

  5. billseymour says


    … you are one of those progressives who support [Biden].

    There’s a difference between supporting him and being stuck with him. What do you suggest instead? More Trump?

    Give us a viable alternative and I, for one, will consider it. If all you can do is stomp your feet and hold your breath until you turn blue, I see no reason to pay any attention to you.

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