Moderate Senate Democrats At Risk of Losing in November

joe manchin, moderate democrat

High turnout in the Texas primary and impressive victories in recent special elections have Democrats feeling bulletproof. And, while prospects are good for more Democratic wins in the November midterms, this is no time to get complacent. According to a recent poll by Axios/SurveyMonkey, five moderate Democratic senators would be defeated by their potential GOP opponents if the election were held today. Democrats will have to earn their way to victories in many contentious races in the midterm elections.

The polls published Thursday morning show Democratic Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota would all lose reelection to GOP challengers if voters were casting ballots this week.

Only Claire McCaskill has a known Republican challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. The rest of the senators were squared against generic, unnamed GOP challengers in the poll.

Could it be that these moderate Democrats are not doing enough to differentiate themselves from the Republican Party? After all, these same five senators are among a cohort of Democrats who are joining with Republicans to co-sponsor a bill that would roll back some regulations on Wall St lobbyists imposed by the Dodd-Frank law.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was appalled by her colleagues’ actions. She pushed her Democratic peers to reconsider, asking if they had forgotten the “devastating impact of the financial crisis.”

In an opinion piece in Vox, Matthew Yglesias argued that with the Trump administration doing damage to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and several important finance-related cabinet seats still unfilled, Democrats had a chance to make a deal. But instead, he wrote, the moderate Democrats are “giving away the store.”

Now is not the time for Democrats to be aligning with Republicans against the American people and in favor of the big banks. If moderate Dems want to see victory in 2018, they need to be unflinching in standing up to Wall Street and showing they are on the side of Americans who are still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.