The group now includes 53 members, down from the 68 at their peak but an improvement over their low of 41 after 2010.
“We’ve always fashioned ourselves as the faction of new ideas and innovation,” Kind said. “These new members are impressive. They are more pragmatic; they are more reasonable; they’re trying to break through this hyper-partisanship and get things done.”
The 2012 turnaround came after a disappointing 2010 cycle, when several New Democrats were swamped by the GOP wave.
Now, they’re playing defense again.
The New Democrats who could face tough races this election include: Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Pete Gallego (D-Texas), Joe Garcia (D-Fla.), Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
The New Democrats are looking to avoid the fate of the Blue Dog Coalition, which has been hit hard by redistricting, retirements and high voter disapproval of Obama in their more rural, often Southern districts.
The Blue Dogs fell from 54 to 25 members in 2010 and saw their roles further decreased to 15 after the last election.