HuffPost: “The Congressional Progressive Caucus [PAC] is making an unprecedented push to elect more left-leaning Democrats to the U.S. House this election cycle”
Bloomberg Government: “Progressives see their potential success in swing districts as an indication that liberal policies can gain momentum among the mainstream.”
POLITICO: “The [CPC PAC] has poured even more energy into congressional races […] and the caucus is likely to pad its ranks even further in 2020 with more Democrats who support its ambitious agenda of tackling climate change, providing universal health care and overhauling the immigration system.”[WASHINGTON, DC] – On Tuesday’s ballot are seventeen candidates endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC — several of them poised to become members of Congress after what HuffPost called “an unprecedented push” by the PAC in the 2020 cycle to bolster its ranks.
Led by CPC PAC Co-Chairs Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, and Jamie Raskin, the PAC launched its first-ever independent expenditure arm earlier this year, committing to spend over $1 million on behalf of endorsed candidates. The PAC’s IE arm has invested on behalf of Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Kara Eastman (NE-02), Beth Doglio (WA-10), and Dana Balter (NY-24).
In June, the CPC PAC was the first and largest outside group to back Mondaire Jones (NY-17), who won a commanding primary victory, running as an unabashed progressive in a crowded field that heavily outspent him.
Six of the PAC’s endorsed candidates are on the DCCC’s Red-to-Blue program, running competitive races in swing districts across the country. In October, the CPC PAC co-hosted a fundraiser that raised roughly $70,000 for four of those candidates.
Two of the PAC’s endorsed candidates, Kara Eastman and Dana Balter, were also endorsed by the CPC PAC in 2018, and advanced through competitive primaries this cycle and are fighting to the finish in closely-contested swing districts.
A NE-02 poll released by the CPC PAC in early October showed Eastman with a 47-45% lead over incumbent Republican Don Bacon in a district that also carries Electoral College implications. Earlier this month, the PAC announced it was investing $190,000 to support Eastman’s candidacy.
The Nation, 10/17: Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan calls Eastman “one of the best candidates running anywhere in the country.” Pocan, who has traveled to Nebraska to campaign with her, says, “It would be a huge message to have a smart progressive like Kara Eastman elected from Omaha. That would be another signal that people favor progressive issues everywhere, and that they will vote for smart progressives who run on those issues.”
In Washington’s 10th Congressional District, the CPC PAC invested $365,000 in a TV, mail, and digital buy to help progressive State Rep. Beth Doglio advance through her jungle primary in August, and placed an additional six-figure buy to support her campaign heading into the November election.
Candidates endorsed by the CPC PAC this cycle include:
- Georgette Gómez (CA-53)
- Nikema Williams (GA-05)
- Kai Kahele (HI-02)
- JD Scholten (IA-04)
- Marie Newman (IL-03)
- Jon Hoadley (MI-06)
- Cori Bush (MO-01)
- Kara Eastman (NE-02)
- Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03)
- Ritchie Torres (NY-15)
- Jamaal Bowman (NY-16)
- Mondaire Jones (NY-17)
- Dana Balter (NY-24)
- Mike Siegel (TX-10)
- Candace Valenzuela (TX-24)
- Julie Oliver (TX-25)
- Beth Doglio (WA-10)
Read more coverage below:
Huffington Post: Daniel Marans: The Progressive Caucus Is Spending Big To Grow Its Ranks In The House
- The Congressional Progressive Caucus [PAC] is making an unprecedented push to elect more left-leaning Democrats to the U.S. House this election cycle, spending more than $1 million on candidates through its first outside spending program.
- The investments reflect an acknowledgment that to increase the caucus’s influence in the House, the group of more than 90 Democrats of varied ideological backgrounds needs not only more members but also more ideologically committed members.
- “It’s about getting progressive policies through and really speaking to the deep inequities and inequalities in the country that both parties have not been front-and-center in fixing,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the CPC.
- The CPC’s creation of an outside spending arm has allowed it to hold its own in critical red-to-blue races.
- The progressive caucus also invested heavily in the late June primary victory of Mondaire Jones, the progressive contender who triumphed over a crowded field to succeed retiring Rep. Nita Lowey in New York City’s northern suburbs. After the CPC PAC endorsed Jones in May, the group’s outside spending arm put $200,000 in to support his bid. Jones ― like Bowman, Newman and Bush ― faces only token opposition in his November race for control of an overwhelmingly Democratic seat.
- This cycle, Democrats were the top two vote-getters in the primaries in California’s 53rd District and Washington’s 10th. Both districts are solid Democratic seats where a veteran lawmaker’s retirement sparked a flood of interest from potential successors. As a result, those two general election races offer the rare opportunity for the party’s warring factions to reenact the proxy battles of the primaries.
- With the help of $365,000 in ad spending by the CPC PAC’s outside arm, Doglio landed a respectable second-place finish in the August primary, earning her one of the two spots on the November ballot.
- Regardless of the race’s outcome though, Jayapal maintains that endorsing Doglio signals to prospective candidates that the progressive caucus will have their back if they choose to run.
Bloomberg: Emily Wilkins: Progressive Democrats See Opportunities in GOP-Held Districts
- Progressives see their potential success in swing districts as an indication that liberal policies can gain momentum among the mainstream.
- Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who also co-chairs the group’s political arm, said voters can see the appeal of progressive ideas because they’re seeking change from the status quo.”
- Dana Balter […] said voters are realizing the issues they care about are the same ones progressives champion. “We are running against candidates who are trying to paint us as out of touch with the mainstream, but nothing could be further from the truth […] The most effective way to get voters out is to reframe the conversation to remind them that our priorities are their priorities.”
- But if progressives also came from swing districts, that would give their initiatives more leverage, said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). “Often times we hear, ‘We can’t do’ you fill in the blank — it might be a $15 minimum wage, it might be strong anti-trust legislation — because of Democrats who are in the most vulnerable swing districts,” he said. If more progressive lawmakers are elected in those districts, Raskin said they’ll be able to say, “On the contrary, it’s precisely because of those people that we have to act forcefully so they can keep their promises.”
The Intercept: Ryan Grim and Aída Chávez: The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC is Trying Something New: Winning Primaries
- The CPC’s PAC threw big money into a race for the first time and lifted Mondaire Jones to victory. They’re doing it again for Beth Doglio in Washington.
- In a race to replace the outgoing Rep. Nita Lowey, the CPC set up an independent expenditure arm and spent nearly $200,000 helping Mondaire Jones clinch the nomination against a field of better-funded, more corporate-friendly candidates. Now the CPC wants to replicate that success in the race to replace outgoing Rep. Denny Heck.
POLITICO: Sarah Ferris, Ally Mutnick, Heather Caygle: Progressives snatch much-needed wins in primary gauntlet
- And the caucus is likely to pad its ranks even further in 2020 with more Democrats who support their ambitious agenda of tackling climate change, providing universal health care and overhauling the immigration system.
- Tuesday’s primaries were a big test of the CPC’s political arm, which had endorsed two candidates in uncertain open-seat New York primaries with double-digit contenders in each race. Both of those candidates — Ritchie Torres and Jones — are now on track to win in New York’s 15th and 17th districts, respectively, though the races will not be called until after absentee ballots are counted next week.
- Torres and Jones — who are both running in safe Democratic seats and are all but certain to win the general election this November — would also be the first two openly gay Black members of Congress.
- The CPC’s campaign arm upped its efforts to play in open-seat primaries this year, launching its first ever independent expenditure to provide backing for Jones. It was the first allied group to launch ads supporting Jones, spending nearly $200,000 promoting his candidacy.
- Their efforts this year were a big jump from two cycles ago when the CPC PAC raised just $300,000 in total. Buoyed by small-dollar donations, it has brought in more than $2 million so far in the 2020 cycle, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the CPC, said in an interview last week.
New York Times: Giovanni Russonello: How Progressive Candidates of Color Are Building Winning Coalitions
- This year, in New Mexico, Teresa Leger Fernandez campaigned in support of the Green New Deal and Medicare for all. She beat Valerie Plame, the establishment-backed Democratic candidate, in a primary in a heavily Latino congressional district.
- Candace Valenzuela of Texas and Georgette Gómez of California are each Hispanic congressional candidates who have been endorsed by high-profile progressives; both are headed to runoffs after advancing in their respective Democratic primaries.
POLITICO, Ally Mutnick: House progressives wade into New York primary
- The political arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is launching its first-ever independent expenditure by weighing into a rare open seat in the suburbs north of New York City. The CPC’s political action committee is investing about $100,000 in digital ads and mailers to boost attorney Mondaire Jones in the 10-candidate race for the deep-blue district from which longtime Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) is retiring.
- Jones, an attorney who worked in the Obama administration, would be the first openly gay black member of Congress. He supports key progressive platforms like the Green New Deal and “Medicare for All” and has nabbed endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) ahead of the June 23 primary.
- The PAC has vowed to spend at least $1 million in support of its endorsed candidates in the 2020 cycle and describes itself as one of the only outside spenders dedicated solely to helping left-leaning candidates.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC has a mission of electing strong, progressive leaders to Congress who share the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC’s vision for America’s future.