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Bidenizing the Democrats | Washington Monthly

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Bidenizing the Democrats |  Washington Monthly

In a special election for an open-house seat in Ohio, the president wins a victory against his party’s Sanders wing.

Donald Trump’s effort to maintain his grip on the Republican Party is so staggeringly bizarre that it obscures a more common and perhaps more politically relevant one on whether Joe Biden can consolidate his grip on the Democrats.

The Trump cult shows extraordinary staying power, but it took a couple of notable blows last week. in a special choice For Congress in Texas, the candidate backed by the former president lost a runoff between two Republicans. Meanwhile, the Senate brought to the floor a bipartisan infrastructure bill that Trump has vigorously opposed.

Progress on the infrastructure bill advanced Biden’s political interests not only by showing that he could, in this case at least, secure the cooperation of Republicans, but also by showing that, at least until now, this bipartisanship is not costing him the support of the party’s left flank. Meanwhile, in an Aug. 3 House primary that splits the wings of Sanders and Biden from the Democrats, Biden appears to be gaining the upper hand.

Former Bernie Sanders’ campaign substitute Nina Turner was initially considered the favorite at Ohio 11.th Congressional district, a black majority seat that encompasses much of the city of Cleveland that was vacated in March when Congresswoman Marcia Fudge resigned to become Biden’s secretary of housing and urban development. Turner is a former Ohio state senator and Cleveland city councilman. She got enough early support both locally and nationally to make victory seem assured. In April, he made a buying tv commercials in April to cement its control.

But Turner’s campaign failed. The limited poll that is publicly available shows that the race is a fight between Turner and Cuyahoga County Councilor Shontel Brown. Brown’s speech focuses on one theme; Nina Turner is not showing enough support for Joe Biden.

Although Turner was initially a leader in the Ready for Hillary movement to lure the former secretary of state into the 2016 race, he endorsed Bernie Sanders. His campaign used Turner, who had lost a state race at Ohio in 2014 by 25 points, as a key substitute and gave him a national profile.

After Sanders lost elementary school, Turner refused to endorse Clinton in the general election against Trump. She even flirted with becoming Jill Stein’s running mate. Four years later, Turner voted for Joe Biden overall only after narration the Atlantic“It’s like saying to someone, ‘You have a plate of shit in front of you, and all you have to do is eat half instead of all.’ It’s still shit. “

That’s not a quote that can be easily removed, and Brown made it a mainstay of his campaign. So did outside groups that emphasized Brown’s support for Biden. Brown brought in substitutes with strong ties to Biden like House Whip Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, whose endorsement helped make Biden the Democratic nominee. Clyburn served Brown’s campaign after rapper Killer Mike, a Turner supporter, said Clyburn was “incredibly stupid” in backing Biden without getting any political favors in return. Turner, who was sitting next to Killer Mike at the time, agreed.

On the campaign trail, Turner tempers his support for Sanders, who was crushed in the Ohio primary last year. Instead, she emphasizes her past as a DNC delegate for Obama and compares herself ideologically to Franklin Roosevelt and Shirley Chisholm. But his collapse in the polls prompted more desperate steps. In recent days, Turner’s campaign ventilated an ad that suggests Brown will end up in jail.

Turner’s electoral responsibilities have less to do with taking more left-wing political positions than with his past attacks on Democratic Party leaders. Biden may not hold large rallies or inspire the kind of fanatical supporters Trump has, but he is a very popular figure in his party, especially among African-American voters.

Sean McElwee, who runs the progressive organization Data for Progress, told me, “Despite all that you see of Trump being in control of the Republican Party,” Joe Biden is more popular with the Democratic base than Trump is with Republicans. base. “A recent Economist / YouGov poll he found that 91 percent of Democrats had a favorable opinion of Biden, while only 82 percent of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Trump.

McElwee said he’s puzzled that “progressives haven’t been very quick to embrace Joe Biden” because Biden has largely been ruling as a progressive. “What progressives should be advocating,” he said, “is meeting the Biden agenda.” If they don’t, McElwee said, “it will hurt us in the primaries.”

Turner may still get a win, but the fact that the race has turned close shows the loyalty of Democratic voters to Biden. In competitive races so far this year, Democratic primary voters are favoring candidates who wrap themselves in Biden’s mantle.

The anti-establishment fervor among Democrats that pushed the party to the left in 2018 and 2020 is not going to go away, but with Trump finally out of office and the progressive policies enacted in Washington, it does not appear to be successful when he turns against Biden. This year’s low-turnout Democratic primaries are likely to continue to favor candidates loyal to the president. It’s Biden’s party for now.

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