They were noisy a year ago….
They are now almost ‘toxic’ in the media except for their own districts….
They ARE out there helping to raise money for as many Democrats that will let them….
Progressive leaders are deploying their public appearances carefully in the lead-up to the midterms.
Warren (D-Mass.) is campaigning alongside fellow female senators in two less conservative states than Wisconsin, both with less competitive races: Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). But she’s also appearing for, not with, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.). And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) aren’t joining endangered incumbents even as they crisscross the country and host packed rallies to boost voter turnout.
That strategy is a tacit acknowledgment that, despite top progressives’ skills at fundraising and turning out the Democratic base, the party’s battleground-district candidates are still worried about Republican attacks that try to associate them with liberal policies toxified as “socialist.”
“I’m fine with people saying, ‘Look, you’re too high-profile, a progressive, and I prefer if you can raise me money and do other things separately,’” Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in an interview. “So we take our cues from people and what they want and what they need. But certainly, I’m never gonna go into a district if somebody doesn’t want me there.”….
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) are two “squad” members and progressive stars also treading with caution in the last throes of the campaign. Ocasio-Cortez held a rally at the University of California, Irvine to rally young voters, though federal elected officials weren’t on stage with her. And Pressley went on a recent tour of Michigan that her campaign advertised as boosting Democratic candidates, though her campaign declined to say which candidates would appear with her.
Meanwhile, Sanders — who is set this week to do a two-day tour of Wisconsin, a state he won in the 2016 Democratic primary — bristled at the suggestion that progressives could give Republicans a line of attack against Democratic candidates….