BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. – Since Democrats started bleeding moderates in 2009, the best course correction they’ve made was to step aside and let Western Pennsylvania Democrats pick Conor Lamb as their nominee for the 18th Congressional District.
Lamb is not a full-throated progressive. And a deep-blue progressive would not be within striking distance of winning this race in a suburban-rural congressional district, where, despite having a 25,000-voter registration advantage, Democrats didn’t even field a candidate in 2016.
Lamb’s position on guns (he supports no new legislation on gun control) and his public denunciations of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could help Democrats take this seat.
The question is whether Conor Lamb is an anomaly. Notably, he did not win the nomination in a primary where progressive activists play a bigger role in who wins. Instead, he was picked through local committee members, who are older and more conservative.
Or do he and his campaign become the new normal – a mold which Democrats use repeatedly to gain back majorities not just in the House, but also in down-ballot races in state legislative bodies across the country?
The answer is unclear.
In Illinois, a seven-term Democratic congressman, Dan Lipinski, a pro-life moderate, has been kicked to the curb by the national party in his primary race with challenger Marie Newman, a businesswoman, whose campaign is flush with support from EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign.
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