The Progressive Funk?

    Was Benjamin T. Jealous’ (D) loss in the gubernatorial election part of a bigger nationwide trend that saw boldly-labeled progressive candidates losing in several key races around the country?

    Josh Kraushaar, a political columnist with National Journal, suggests that might be the case.

    In a tweet this week, Kraushaar notes that eight lefty Democratic candidates lost competitive general elections, and that a ninth seems poised to be declared the loser, bringing their score to 0-9 in such contests.

    Besides Jealous, they are: David Garcia, in the Arizona gubernatorial election; Andrew Gillum, in the Florida gubernatorial election; Stacey Abrams, in the Georgia gubernatorial election; Beto O’Rourke, in the Texas Senate election; Katie Porter, in California’s 45th congressional district; Kara Eastman, in Nebraska’s 2nd District; Scott Wallace, in Pennsylvania’s 1st District; and Leslie Cockburn, in Virginia’s 5th District.

    Obviously, left-wing candidates won congressional seats in heavily Democratic districts — and some knocked off more establishment Democrats in primaries. But Kraushaar wonders if the progressive message was right for swing congressional races and statewide campaigns. And he wonders if there are implications for the 2020 White House election…

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.