About Last Night: The Democrat Center Holds in Primary Results, For Now

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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23 Responses

  1. Mark Kruger says:

    It does indeed seem that rumors of the center’s demise are at least premature. But the idea that specific policy movement to the left is:

    …shrinking the space between its leaders and its disruptors.

    Makes me wonder if the center itself is fraying. Moreover, will a shift in policy issues further left be enough to placate ardent “social democrats”?

    For 2018 I think the answer is yes. But they will need to deliver or I see trouble ahead. It’s not hard to imagine an insurgent 3rd party splinter group slicing off a portion of Dem support in 2020 – with GOP operatives standing by to fuel the flames.Report

  2. Maribou says:

    One of your links talks about the challenge for the GOP of appealing to both “Romney/Clinton” voters and “Obama/Trump voters”…. which hit me not for its merits but because I don’t think I’ve ever thought about anti-Trump voters (despite having swayed a number of them to happen myself) as Romney/Clinton voters…


    Interesting piece of self-discovery there.Report

  3. Chip Daniels says:

    One of the reasons the center is winning is that it is co-opting the message of the insurgents, not opposing it.

    No one is going around trashing Ocasio-Cortez and none of the insurgents are defecting or sitting home.


    • Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      It’s like someone really wants to write about a civil war, and it just won’t happen.

      The usual political junkies on the fringe shout, but the masses of Democratic voters don’t really care that much. I mean if the far-left were running anti-vaxxing PETA members who throw rocks in masks at protests against plastic straws, maybe.

      Instead they’re running scary people who say things like “We’d like universal health care” and “Higher minimum wages”.

      As best I can tell, about 99.9% of the “fighting” between the left and the center of the Democratic party is basically normal political bargaining against a backdrop of some places being more liberal than others, and nobody seems terribly stressed about it.Report

  4. Marchmaine says:

    No one in all the varied multiverses likes hyperbole more than I, and as much as I enjoy watching from a distance “superstar Ocasio-Cortez” I think it would benefit everyone to call her, Top Prospect, or exciting up-and-comer, or highly touted, or whatever other sports metaphor we want to employ before they’ve ever spent a day in the bigs. I mean, for everyone’s sake. Ok internet?Report

  5. Jesse says:

    The center is winning is because supposed centrists like Connor Lamb are pro-Medicaid expansion, anti-Social Security cuts, pro-choice are centrists because they’re relatively pro-gun as opposed to the Blue Dogs of 2006-08 like Heath Shuler.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Jesse says:

      @jesse And that’s a good thing, right? I mean, I know I want the center to shift, but after all I come from Canada where the center (pace Harper who was a polite Canadian prequel to Trump) is significantly further to the left to begin with.

      If we’re well to the left of center, don’t we *want* people to think of the Democratic Party as centrist? After all, everyone thinks of themselves as more or less the center of what’s *reasonable*….Report

      • pillsy in reply to Maribou says:

        I don’t know. I think the way people interact with parties is complex enough that either stance is a tradeoff. Some loosely attached voters don’t think anybody is going to really stand up for them, as discussed in and around Dennis Sanders’ article last week. Being more reasonable-seeming is not necessarily the best way to appeal to such people.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Maribou says:

        Oh, I have no issue with it. It’s just some DLC / anti-progressive types are trying to push this as proof that the Dems need to move to the middle with “candidates like Connor Lamb” while totally ignoring what Connor Lamb actually ran on.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Jesse, Chip, and Morat are right here. The media and pundits love them a Dems in Disarray narrative but the today’s center politicians are further to the left than yesterday’s center politicians. Some of them might dismiss Medicare for All as sloganeering but they are also running hard against entitlement cuts. Previous generations of “serious” and “centerist” Democrats flirted if not outright voted for entitlement cuts. The idea that government needs to be involved in ensuring and expanding health care access is a matter of necessity for any Democratic politician. And while not everyone is saying Abolish ICE, no Democrat is supporting Trump on immigration either.Report

    • pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      One particular thing that’s happened is that everybody seems to have come to the simultaneous (and I think obviously correct) conclusion that 98% of the stuff from the center-right about fiscal discipline and deficits is concern-trolling.

      “We want to provide people with free college!”
      “How are you going to pay for that, commie?”


      “We’re going to give the richest people in the country a huge tax cut and spend a trillion bucks on a jet fighter made of spackle and old Atari cartridges!”
      “Cool, cool.”Report

  7. North says:

    I would like to observe, with no small amount of gratification, that the winning candidates were triangulating between the poles of what Trumpism actually is and what the Sanderistas are calling for.Report