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Aug. 14, 2018,at11:27 AM
We Looked At Hundreds Of Endorsements. Here’s Who Democrats Are Listening To.
By Meredith Conroy, Nathaniel Rakich and Mai Nguyen
Filed beneath 2018 Election
Get the abstracts on GitHubGitHub abstracts at data/primary-candidates-2018
FacebookTwitter Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a assemblage for Brent Welder, a Democratic applicant for the U.S. House in Kansas.
Dan Videtich / Getty Images
Research by Ballotpedia and Roey Hadar, Lee Harris, Adam Kelsey, Adia Robinson, Meena Venkataramanan and Johnny Verhovek of ABC News.
This adventure was produced in accord with ABC News and Ballotpedia.1
Two of the three Bernie Sanders-endorsed candidates who were on the acclamation aftermost Tuesday absent their primary contest — Abdul El-Sayed of Michigan and Brent Welder of Kansas were defeated, while adolescent Kansan James Thompson avant-garde to the accepted election. Not surprisingly, commentators were quick to affirm that the accelerating addition of the Democratic Affair is ablaze out in 2018 primaries.
The agitation over whether progressivism is the way avant-garde for Democrats didn’t alpha this year. It’s been angry at atomic back the 2016 presidential primary,2 back Sanders’s appalling run approved the acceptance of accelerating behavior like Medicare for all. But now that we’re added than center through the 2018 primary season, we can get a added absolute account of area Democrats are heading. As we declared in our aboriginal chapter in this series, FiveThirtyEight, ABC News and Ballotpedia calm canvassed the claimed and brainy ancestry of the 811 Democratic candidates who, as of Aug. 7, had appeared on the acclamation in “open” Democratic contest — those with no Democratic incumbent3 — for Senate, House and governorships. Application endorsement abstracts from assorted absorption groups, we can actuate which addition of the affair candidates accord to, and application the allotment of the vote they accustomed in their primaries, we can actuate how able-bodied candidates’ positions formed out for them.4
The affair (mostly) decides
Since 2016, a cardinal of groups accept emerged to accept absolutely accelerating Democrats. For example, Justice Democrats was formed in 2017 and describes its mission as alive to “elect a new blazon of Democratic majority in Congress.” The candidates it endorses do not booty money from accumulated PACs or accumulated lobbyists and about accede with the group’s platform, which includes a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free accessible academy and the abolishment of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Another accelerating group, Our Revolution, was founded in 2016 and describes itself as “the abutting footfall for Bernie Sanders’ movement.” Indivisible additionally sprung up in 2017 and is aimed at dismantling the “Trump agenda.” Added groups, like the Accelerating Change Attack Committee and Alive Families Party, accept been about longer, but their missions are the abundantly the aforementioned — electing added progressives.
According to our data, 41 percent of candidates who accustomed an endorsement from one or added of these accelerating groups5 won their primary races. The best acknowledged accelerating accumulation was the PCCC; the candidates it accustomed won about 67 percent of the time.6 Justice Democrats and Our Revolution had the affliction win ante — candidates they accustomed won alone 32 percent of their primaries (but they additionally accustomed added bodies overall, giving their candidates added affairs to lose). Although those accustomed by accelerating groups may not consistently win, in abounding contest they are alive the action agitation and banishment advantaged candidates to at atomic abode some of their accelerating stances. Take, for instance, Andrew Cuomo, New York’s bounden governor. Back Cynthia Nixon, who has won endorsements from all bristles of the accelerating groups we analyzed, appear she would claiming Cuomo in the Democratic primary, the governor has afflicted his tune on marijuana amends and appear new accelerating affairs like voting rights for parolees.
The alignment with the best endorsement almanac in Democratic primaries charcoal the Democratic Affair itself. Candidates who are on the Democratic Congressional Attack Committee’s Red to Blue List or accustomed by the Democratic Senatorial Attack Committee7 had a win amount of 95 percent (37 wins out of 39 endorsements). In contest area a party-endorsed applicant ran adjoin a progressive-group-endorsed applicant (excluding any contest area a applicant was accustomed by both sides), the party-endorsed applicant won 89 percent of the time.
In added words, the best augur of primary success charcoal enactment support.
However, there are several caveats: First, we don’t apperceive which way the account runs. The Democratic enactment is apparently agilely lining up abaft candidates who were already the arch in their field. Second, “establishment” isn’t a analogue for “moderate,” so the success of enactment candidates doesn’t necessarily beggarly that progressives are losing. For instance, eight party-backed candidates were additionally accustomed by at atomic one accelerating group. And at atomic one accumulation absolutely abetment centrist candidates in Democratic primaries has addled out so far. Groups financed by No Labels — a bipartisan alignment blame for added accommodation in Congress — accept accurate candidates in two accessible Democratic primaries so far this year, and neither won.
2020 in 2018
Three of the highest-profile abeyant contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential choice — Sanders, above Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — accept all been alive on the 2018 attack trail, including acknowledging their adopted candidates with endorsements and rallies. If the candidates they endorse are avatars for their own 2020 campaigns, again Biden and Warren should be activity appealing acceptable appropriate now. Candidates they accustomed accept won 100 percent of their primaries so far in 2018, admitting anniversary alone accustomed a scattering of people: Biden’s candidates went 10 for 10 and Warren’s went bristles for five. However, it’s account acquainted that Biden mostly accustomed candidates who were adverse badge primary opposition, while best of the bodies Warren accustomed won absolutely aggressive races. Finally, Bernie Sanders accustomed nine candidates, bristles of whom avant-garde to the accepted election, for a win amount of 56 percent.
Related: Backroom PodcastPolitics Podcast: Who Are Democrats Nominating?Are Democrats absorbed in appropriate interests?Emily’s List, which recruits pro-choice Democratic women for office, accustomed 54 candidates we analyzed. Thirty-nine — 72 percent — won their races. That’s an alike college win amount than amid women all-embracing (46 percent), and women, in turn, accept a win amount that’s alert as acceptable as men’s (23 percent). The Emily’s List bang may accept to do with their biggy fundraising and spending on the candidates’ behalf; the accumulation aloft over $90 actor during the 2016 acclamation cycle. In 2018, the accumulation has been showering their candidates with money.Six months afterwards the cutting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, appeared to atom abiding advanced activism, are Democratic primary voters voting for pro-gun-control candidates? To admeasurement this, we counted up all the candidates who were labeled “gun faculty candidates”8 by Moms Demand Action, allotment of the Everytown for Gun Safety organization. In contest that accept been alleged so far, 192 candidates were accepted that characterization and 79 of them won, for a win amount of 41 percent. But in abounding cases, gun faculty candidates were active adjoin anniversary added in the aforementioned districts, which brought their all-embracing win amount down. It ability be fairer to attending at the how generally any gun faculty applicant was nominated in contest area at atomic one being accustomed that designation; back we do that, we acquisition that a gun faculty applicant won the Democratic choice in 79 percent of contest area Moms Demand Action had awarded the appellation to at atomic one candidate.Last week, we begin that aggressive veterans and nonveterans are accomplishing about appropriately able-bodied in Democratic primaries so far. It’s unsurprising, then, that candidates accustomed by VoteVets — a accelerating alignment whose ambition is to advance veterans’ interests and accept added vets to accessible appointment — accept a adequately boilerplate win amount of 57 percent. Notably, however, veterans accustomed by VoteVets do bigger than veterans the alignment did not endorse (22 percent win rate). Whether that is because VoteVets’ ads amplitude voters or aloof because the accumulation endorses the arch adept candidates is unclear.
Overall, candidates backed by the affair enactment are acutely outperforming those backed by added #Resistance-flavored groups. Added accustomed absorption groups accept additionally tended to accept bigger endorsement annal than their activist brethren.
Which endorsers accept the best clue almanac in primaries?
How candidates accustomed by alleged bodies and groups accept fared in accessible Democratic primaries for Senate, House and governor in 2018
EndorsedWonPercentJoe Biden1010100%Elizabeth Warren55100Democratic Affair committees393795Emily’s List543972PCCC151067Indivisible463065VoteVets281657Bernie Sanders9556Working Families Party301550Gun Sense1927941Justice Dems501632Our Revolution852732No Labels200
Win ante exclude candidates in contest that accept not been called. Accessible contest are those that do not affection a Democratic incumbent.
Sources: Ballotpedia, secretaries of state, Associated Press, applicant websites, listed organizations’ websites
But as we mentioned, that doesn’t beggarly that the accelerating calendar is accident in 2018. The candidates who exhausted the Sanders-endorsed El-Sayed and Welder? Gretchen Whitmer supports a $15 minimum allowance and the amends of marijuana, and Sharice Davids is a gay Native American woman advancement on a child-care tax acclaim and alleviative gun abandon as a bloom affliction crisis. As the abstracts shows, “establishment vs. progressive” is a bit of a apocryphal dichotomy.
Ballotpedia is an online album of American backroom and elections. Its ambition is to bottle and aggrandize ability about backroom by accouterment cold advice about local, accompaniment and federal backroom and policies. Check out over a division of a actor all-embracing accessories and analyses for chargeless at Media really, continued afore that.
We’re excluding contest in which a Democratic bounden ran because incumbents about consistently win and including them would heavily skew the analysis.
You can acquisition the abstracts we acclimated for this article, our belief for how anniversary capricious was advised and all the capacity about how we calm it on our GitHub page.
For groups like Indivisible and Our Revolution, we included endorsements from both the civic alignment and from affiliated bounded groups.
However, it’s account acquainted that the PCCC is careful in its endorsements, giving alone 15 candidates its allowance of approval. Founded in 2009, the PCCC is about the ancient elder amid accelerating groups, so it’s accessible that acquaintance has accomplished it to endorse candidates who accept a bigger adventitious of winning.
The Democratic Governors Association told FiveThirtyEight that it does not endorse candidates afore their primaries.
Technically, this is not an endorsement; assorted candidates in the aforementioned chase can accept the distinction.
Meredith Conroy is an abettor assistant of political science at California Accompaniment University. @sidney_b
Nathaniel Rakich is FiveThirtyEight’s elections analyst. @baseballot
Mai Nguyen is FiveThirtyEight’s quantitative editor.
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