Berniecrats and other progressives have been doing remarkably well in recent special elections in districts where voters picked Trump last November. They are winning seats in heavily Republican areas, making it crystal clear that Bernie would have won. While hindsight is certainly 20-20, many Democrats are still in absolute denial about why Hillary Clinton lost the election. Instead of blaming Hillary, Hillary voters are blaming Russian hackers for releasing the DNC and Podesta emails and James Comey for his last-minute announcement.
It seems like the media and Hillary Clinton are determined to rehash the 2016 election every couple of days. If that’s how it has to be, let’s keep something in mind: Bernie would have won.
Clinton lost the blue wall swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Bernie would not have lost in those states. You can’t blame the Russians or Comey for those losses, either. Wisconsin told the DNC that they wanted Bernie Sanders on April 5, 2016. Michigan did the same on March 8. Pennsylvania had closed primaries, so that election wasn’t a clear indicator of what would happen in November, and the state’s primary was late in the game. Either way, the election was very close and if you add in only some of the third party or independent votes in Pennsylvania and add them to Clinton’s numbers, you could have turned that Trump state Berniecratic.
We keep hearing that Russian interference and Comey’s announcement cost Clinton the election, but the two swing states with open elections told the DNC that they didn’t want Hillary to be their candidate. It wasn’t until July 18, that Guccifer 2.0 provided the first set of documents and files to The Hill. The WikiLeaks‘ dump that contained the DNC emails didn’t happen until right before the convention. Michigan and Wisconsin couldn’t stand Hillary Clinton long before then, and their open primary election results prove that. Still, no one seems to care about the obvious issue that Hillary was so unpopular that she wasn’t able to garner enough delegates to secure the nomination until the convention actually started (and only after adding in super delegates).
So, maybe the fact that Berniecrats are winning local elections in historically GOP districts will make it clear to the Democrats that they will lose again, unless they start adopting the policies advocated for by Bernie Sanders.
They should take note that a former Bernie Sanders delegate from New York just defeated her Republican opponent in a district that had overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Donald Trump last November. In fact, last November, Trump won her district with 61 percent of the vote.
Christine Pellegrino was elected to the New York State Assembly in the District 9 special election held in May, according to a Patch report. Pellegrino reportedly defeated Thomas Gargiulo “by margins of 3,338-2,282 in Suffolk County and 2,252-1,767 in Nassau County.” Not only that, but she replaces Joseph Saladino, a Republican who had stepped down after holding the seat since 2004. This was Trump Country, and a Berniecrat dominated.
Pellegrino’s victory demonstrates more than a good campaign though. Deep in one of Donald Trump’s strongholds, a Berniecrat defeated a Republican for a chair that has been held by a Republican. She’s among the first of many expected victories against Republicans and even against establishment Democrats. Across the nation, progressives are organizing. They are running as independents, Democrats, Greens, and even Republicans.
Pellegrino Beats Gargiulo in Special Election for NY Assembly https://t.co/tdgxC3o2aY— Long Island Press (@LongIslandPress) May 24, 2017
Pellegrino’s victory was so significant that Brendan Cunningham, who was defeated by Saladino during Saladino’s last bid for the seat now held by Pellegrino, tweeted, “Something is happening.”
Something is happening. BIG congrats to Christine Pellegrino on flipping this CONSERVATIVE Assembly district. I got 31% in 2016. https://t.co/V4ZyOYs2g3— Brendan Cunningham (@cunningham61) May 24, 2017
Indeed, something is happening, and it’s happening across the nation, according to Newsweek. When Bernie Sanders lost the rigged election against Hillary Clinton, resolve among progressives intensified. Trump didn’t win Michigan because “Michigan is full of bigots” like many liberal pundits would have us believe. Trump won Michigan because of those 87,000 ballots upon which the voter either left the presidential selection blank or wrote in an unregistered candidate. Trump won Michigan because 5 percent of voters opted for a third-party candidate (like Bernie Sanders). Bernie would have scored those ballots and many of the Trump-voters’ ballots too if the DNC had made the right choice.
On May 24, Edith DesMarais pulled off an incredible upset. DesMarais was elected as a state rep in her New Hampshire district, defeating her Republican opponent in a special election. Her district was also a Trump district in the presidential race. According to WMUR, DesMarais was the first Democrat that has been elected to that seat since 1913.
“Another canary in the coal mine for Republicans,” California Representative Ted Lieu tweeted about her victory. “Every. Republican. Is. At. Risk.”
Still, Republicans aren’t the only ones who are at risk for losing elections now that Berniecrats have become determined to take back the nation. Establishment Democrats should also start updating their resumes.
In 2018, Sen. Debbie Stabenow will be up against her Republican opponent and a Berniecrat named Marcia Squier. Squier will be running as an independent candidate. Squier is after Stabenow’s seat and Michigan voted against Hillary Clinton twice in 2016. The first time, Michigan chose Bernie Sanders. The second time, Michigan chose Trump.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi faces a primary battle for California’s 12th congressional district chair, and her reign may be coming to an end, because he is a Berniecrat. San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Jaffe will primary Pelosi.
Jaffe is a lifelong Democrat and the new president of South Beach District 6 Democratic Club of San Francisco. He’s also a Berniecrat.
I am a Berniecrat. Unapologetic and proud.— Stephen R. Jaffe (@Jaffe4Congress) May 30, 2017
In 2018, that Berniecrat could be sitting in Pelosi’s chair.
Some Berniecrats are running as Green Party candidates. For example, there will be a special election on June 20, 2017, in South Carolina District 5 for a congressional seat, and the Democratic candidate is expected to lose. But David Kulma is a Berniecrat who is running as a Green for that congressional seat, and Berniecrats across the nation are stepping up to help Kulma turn the red district green.
Democrats will need to join the Berniecrats and swing left if they want to stay relevant in future elections, and these special elections just further prove that point.
[Featured Image by Charlie Neibergall/AP Images]