Politico is unimpressed by the left’s backpedaling toward more broadly electable candidates.
A “conventional cast of technocrats and long-time public officials” leads the Democrats’ efforts to strengthen their hold on the midwestern United States, starting with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray’s victory over the progressive “leftist firebrand” Dennis Kucinich.
Rather than catering to the hard progressive leanings of its most vocal members, the Democrats as a party seem to be trying to ensure their next candidate is less divisive than Hillary Clinton proved to be. Democrat strategist Tom Russell told Politico:
I think what you will learn through the course of the general [election] is whether or not there’s going to be a real strategic push for someone who is more of … a fit for those Midwestern voters, or if the [2020 presidential] primary is just going to be completely dominated by a combination of identity politics and old ideological constructs.
Russell does not see a “hankering” for a “down to earth, meat and potatoes” Democrat among the outraged left, but “depending on how these candidates do, or how these candidates do en masse in the Midwest, I think you might see a push for someone along those lines.”
While Christine Hallquist has been nominated to be the country’s first transgender governor in Bernie Sanders’ Vermont, places like Minnesota and Wisconsin are looking toward people like six-term Minnesota congressman Tim Walz.
Politico’s David Siders may not find candidates lauded for a “consensus-building” and “common sense” approach to governance, but voters in the midwest are making their preference clear: Less style, more substance. How that will translate to the 2020 Presidential campaign remains to be seen. “Everyone wants to fight,” Third Way’s Matt Bennett said. “The question is with what ammunition.”