Eight Thinkers on the Left Explain What the Midterm Results Mean for Progressives

Source: In These Times

The 2018 midterm elections saw mixed results for progressives. Democrats took the House of Representatives, which will include a crop of new members who ran on issues like Medicare for All, marijuana legalization and urgent climate action. Democratic socialists also had a big night, winning elections up and down the ballot.

Yet progressive gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Ben Jealous lost, the outcome of Stacey Abrams’ historic bid for Georgia governor remains up in the air, and Republicans increased their majority in the Senate. While several insurgent left Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley cruised to victory, others like Jess King and Randy Bryce suffered defeats.

So what lessons should progressives learn from Tuesday’s elections? We asked eight important thinkers on the left for their strategic takeaways from the midterms.

Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution

The 2018 elections—both primary and general—mark a remarkable new beginning for the progressive movement. Around the country, we saw hundreds of people inspired by Sen. Bernie Sanders run for office at every level. While many of them did not win this time, they softened the soil for future progressive victories, much like Sen. Sanders’ early runs.

For our part at Our Revolution, we are very proud of our nearly 200 endorsed candidates and over 40 ballot measures. Our candidates reflected the communities where we see a future progressive electorate. Over half were women and/or people of color. Many were first-time candidates and one out of eight had been a Bernie Sanders 2016 delegate. Nurturing and training these candidates for future elections is a critical role that Our Revolution will continue to undertake with our allies.

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