In a string of important races across the country, national Democrats have been embracing recruits near the political center, hoping they will give the party the chance to compete in states like Utah and Kansas where a liberal Democrat might stand little chance of winning. About a dozen crucial House races this fall are likely to feature Democratic nominees who are positioned markedly closer to the middle than the national party’s activist base — more than enough to determine control of the House.
ImageIn a string of key races across the country, national Democrats have been embracing recruits near the political center, hoping they will help the party compete in conservative states.
The party scored an early upset with just such a candidate, Conor Lamb, in a Pennsylvania special election in March. Mr. Lamb, a veteran, opposed Ms. Pelosi, single-payer health care and most new gun regulations, but with a populist economic message captured a district Mr. Trump carried easily in 2016.
Democratic voters have largely been going along in the primaries held so far in these districts, which are often in rural areas. In Illinois the voters chose Brendan Kelly, a prosecutor with a mend-it, don’t-end-it message on the Affordable Care Act, to take on a conservative Republican in a rural district. And on Tuesday, Democrats in several states that President Trump carried in 2016 selected ideological mavericks to carry their banner in difficult House races.