Looking for electability in all the wrong places

Looking for electability in all the wrong places

By Jessica Tarlov, Opinion Contributor, The Hill

The question of electability still tops the list of concerns for many [presidential primary] voters…But there are some folks who know who can win because they’ve done it themselves. The 30+ Democrats who flipped seats from red to blue in the 2018 midterms are very much the key to the puzzle. It would seem they would know better than anyone else what “electability” really means and how far a liberal agenda can go in purple and red districts.

To this end, members of the New Democrat Coalition, the largest ideological caucus in the House, sent a letter to the Democratic presidential candidates requesting individual meetings with them. New Democrats were responsible for winning 32 of the 40 seats Democrats took back in 2018, sending home big Republican names such as Barbara Comstock in Virginia and Pete Sessions in Texas…

As the primary campaign goes forward, I can’t think of a better place to get advice and counsel than these representatives who pulled off victories that few thought possible. I’m sure all the candidates will get their meetings scheduled as soon as their schedules permit. The sooner the better, I say. These Democrats know a thing or two about electability.

The other ‘squad’: moderate female Democrats try to establish their brand ahead of 2020

The other ‘squad’: moderate female Democrats try to establish their brand ahead of 2020

By Laurie Kellman, Associated Press

This is a story about a different kind of squad.

Spanberger is part of a group of first-term female representatives with national security backgrounds who flipped Republican seats last year and matter most on questions of impeachment and Democratic control. The alterna-squad consists of Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Virginians Spanberger and Elaine Luria — women possessing deep military and intelligence experience, now voices of moderation in a party often portrayed as veering sharply left…

The national security veterans eschew cliques and Twitter fights, though they are careful to say that they have no quibble with members of the more famous “squad” made up of progressive Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Yet they are laboring, now, to edge around the fireball of Trump’s battle with those four congresswomen of color over race and who is adequately American.

While Republicans portray the squad as emblematic of a Democratic Party turning toward socialism, the moderates are trying to forge their own brand. And Trump cannot easily cast them as villains, in part because they won’t play along. They simply can’t go down that road if they want to win reelection in their districts, which Trump won in 2016 and may yet win again.

These 103 House Democrats have a message for the presidential candidates

These 103 House Democrats have a message for the presidential candidates

Moderate New Democrat Coalition wants to talk with hopefuls about issues important to their voters

By Simone Pathé, Roll Call

The New Democrat Coalition, the largest ideological group in the House Democratic caucus, is sending a letter to all the Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday requesting individual meetings with them…

New Democrats won 32 of 40 seats that Democrats flipped from red to blue last fall as the party took control of the House.

“Our coalition was the majority makers,” Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer, the chairman of the coalition, said in an interview in his office on Thursday morning. “It’s important that we have candidates that are able to talk to the issues impacting the districts that we won to take back the House.”…

The meetings could provide members who won in tough districts a chance to impart advice that could be useful on the national stage. They also would be able to remind presidential candidates of what kinds of national conversations are less useful in the districts Democrats must hold onto next year.

NewDem Action Fund Urges Presidential Candidates to Take Note of Lessons Learned from the Majority Makers

NewDem Action Fund Sends Open Letter Inviting All Democratic Presidential Candidates to Meet with Coalition

By Representative Derek Kilmer and Representative Ami Bera

Dear Presidential Candidate,

On behalf of the New Democrat Coalition, we invite you to meet with our Coalition to give you an opportunity to share your vision for moving our country forward, how to address the great challenges and opportunities we face in the 21st century, and how the next president will begin to heal the deep divisions our country and government face…

The New Democrat Coalition is a diverse group of 103 members of the House of Representatives. That makes us the largest ideological caucus in the U.S. House Democratic Caucus, and New Democrats represent a broad array of districts that will be critical to winning the presidency in 2020. Of the 40 seats that flipped from red to blue in 2018, New Dem members won 32 of these seats to deliver the House majority. We know that in order to hold and extend our majority and to win the White House, we will need to keep winning in these districts. 2020 will be another competitive election cycle and we expect to work very closely with our eventual Democratic Presidential nominee to make it a historic election year. To that end, we are reaching out earlier than ever before to begin to get to know our 2020 declared candidates and to build the partnership that our country needs.

The Most Important New Woman in Congress Is Not Who You Think

The Most Important New Woman in Congress Is Not Who You Think

Bold progressives are getting the attention, but the Democratic Party owes control of the House to moderates like Mikie Sherrill. Whose agenda will prevail?

By Michael Kruse, Politico Magazine

The best-known new member of Congress is obviously the ubiquitous and magnetic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the unreserved used-to-be bartender and millennial social media savant who has parlayed her outer-borough seat into a vanguard position at the head of a surging left. But she is not the reason Democrats are wielding a reclaimed wedge of power in the nation’s capital. Sherrill is. If there’s a Venn diagram of how Democrats wrested control of the House from Republicans —women, veterans, flipped districts in more affluent, more educated suburban terrain—smack at the center is Rebecca Michelle Sherrill: former Navy helicopter pilot, former federal prosecutor, mother of four (13, 11, 9 and 6). And even as Ocasio-Cortez and other younger, lefty, louder freshmen garner the limelight, “Mikie,” not “AOC,” is actually more materially the face of the Democrats’ fresh capacity to push legislation and check the agenda of a newly vexed President Donald Trump.

The silent majority of Democratic House freshmen

The silent majority of Democratic House freshmen

Most of the new Democrats in the House are more moderate than you think.

By Ella Nilsen and Dylan Scott, Vox

National attention has focused on a handful of young, left-wing first-time members of Congress elected to safe seats. But realistically, the future of the House lies with a larger group of Democrats who eked out narrow wins in newly purple districts.

“Most of the freshmen come from swing districts,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), who beat four-term incumbent Republican Leonard Lance by 5 points in 2018. “We come from places where voters want us to focus on getting things done that can actually be achieved.”

The House Will Have Just As Many Moderate Democrats As Progressives Next Year

The House Will Have Just As Many Moderate Democrats As Progressives Next Year

By Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight

The progressive wing of the Democratic caucus has attracted a fair amount of attention, as it will presumably wield far more power than it did the last time Democrats controlled the House in 2010. But another Democratic faction could play a major role in influencing the House’s legislative priorities: the New Democrat Coalition. Fiscally moderate, the New Democrat Coalition has outstripped the dwindling conservative wing of the party — the Blue Dog Coalition1 — and it might even emerge as the primary counterweight to progressives within the Democratic caucus in 2019.

New Democrats successfully (and quietly) help take back majority

New Democrats successfully (and quietly) help take back majority

By Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Opinion Contributor, The Hill

When the 2016 election wrapped, no one would have predicted that Democrats would take back 30 House seats (and counting) just two years later. And yet, as final votes are tallied in yet-uncalled districts, here we are.

NewDemPAC put its name behind 76 candidates for Congress this year including 45 fully-endorsed candidates. While votes are still being counted, it appears that we’re on track to bring over 25 of them to Congress.

We did all this without throwing elbows or engaging in intra-party fighting that for too long has put Democrats on the defensive. We helped our candidates raise money, of course, but we also took our work a step further by engaging day-to-day with candidates in their races. We helped them prep for debates, provided background on federal policy, and advocated for our candidates with allied groups to ensure they had what they needed.