In Defying the Odds, we discuss the Sanders candidacy and the leftward drift of the Democratic Party. The update -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.
Last week, home for the first district workweek of their term, moderate Democrats got to see firsthand how the raised voices of a small but vocal number of lawmakers such as Representatives Tlaib, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York are reverberating in far more marginal districts. Some, like Representative Andy Kim of New Jersey, were asked to account for the “uptick of negative rhetoric” coming from the freshman class.
“My job is to focus in on you. I don’t know how other members of Congress are making their decisions about what to say,” Mr. Kim told constituents in the coastal township of Berkeley, “but I’ll certainly stand up and disagree whenever there is something out there I disagree with.”
Just two months into the new Congress, Republicans have begun an all-out assault painting Democrats as extremists — even bigots — and trying to tar moderates with their more liberal freshman counterparts’ beliefs. Their talking points appear to be resonating with some voters the Democrats will need next year if they are to keep their majority — and the voters determined to flip the districts back.