Some ambitious Democrats think the 2020 primary field is wide open for a “moderate” candidate with Ocasio-Cortez and the SJWs trying to drag the party to the left.
Of course, this article plays games with terminology. There is a world of difference between moderates like Howard Schultz, and “moderates” like Nancy Pelosi:
Liberal Democratic presidential contenders’ rush to embrace the left’s most ambitious proposals has some Democrats worried there could be a price to pay when they try to defeat President Donald Trump next year.
Party activists have been energized as Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and other candidates endorsed plans to provide Medicare coverage to every American, some form of tuition-free college, a national $15 minimum wage and the so-called “Green New Deal” advocated by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
But Trump and his allies in the Republican Party have seized on those stances to attack the Democratic 2020 field as outside the American political mainstream — a claim the president plans to make throughout his re-election campaign, according to sources with knowledge of his strategy.
Some Democrats fear the argument has potency. They worry the primary may produce a nominee who will not appeal to centrist working and middle-class voters who voted for Trump in 2016 but whom Democrats believe they can win back.
“The big progressive programs are popular in a caucus or primary electorate, but probably don’t move the needle among voters who want to find someone who will change Washington by tilting the system to favor people in the middle — not the very rich or the very poor,” said Jeff Link, an Iowa Democrat who worked for former President Barack Obama’s campaign.
So far, the moderate wing of the party is under-represented in the 2020 field. Some Democratic strategists are concerned the party did not heed the lesson from last year’s congressional elections, when it took power in the U.S. House of Representatives largely through moderate candidates who won over suburban voters by focusing on “kitchen-table” issues such as coverage for preexisting medical conditions.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is one of the few Democrats in the presidential field to push back at the progressive agenda. At a CNN town hall this week, she called the Green New Deal “aspirational” and suggested Medicare for all was only a potential long-term goal.