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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Frustration on the Left

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the Sanders candidacy.

At Politico, David Siders reports that the left wing of the Democratic Party is having a hard time following up on Sanders's unexpectedly strong showing in 2016.
The losses are piling up. Earlier this month, Democrat Heath Mello, whom Sanders campaigned with, failed to unseat a Republican in Omaha’s race for mayor. Kimberly Ellis, the candidate endorsed by Our Revolution, the successor group to Sanders’ presidential campaign, lost a fiercely contested race for California Democratic Party chair. And on Thursday night, Republican Greg Gianforte bested Rob Quist, another Democrat for whom Sanders campaigned, in a nationally watched House race in Montana.
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The limitations of the Sanders movement were nowhere more apparent than in the open congressional race in Los Angeles this spring, in a district Sanders carried last year. While Our Revolution has since endorsed Jimmy Gomez, a state assemblyman with a progressive record in Sacramento, two primary challengers with Sanders ties — Carrillo and Arturo Carmona, a deputy in Sanders’ presidential campaign — together received barely more than 10 percent of the vote.

“The test is whether you turn out for an election, right?” said former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, an Ellison supporter who was an early favorite in the House race before he dropped out with a health condition. “They didn’t turn out and organize for either of the Bernie candidates in the Jimmy Gomez race. So instead the guy who gets cast as the most institutional — Jimmy — and the guy with the least credibility as a Democratic candidate — (Robert) Ahn — move forward. So that tells me there’s nothing sustainable about the way in which they engaged in that race.”