Democratic candidates across the board ran on significantly more progressive platforms this election cycle as compared to the last three election cycles, according to a new analysis of candidates for the U.S. House and Senate by the group Data for Progress.
The percentage of Democratic candidates who endorsed “Medicare for All,” Sen. Bernie Sanders’s signature health care proposal, or a Medicare buy-in surged from 27 percent in 2010 to 58 percent this election cycle.
House Democrats early on decided to pitch health care throughout the campaign season, and after years on the fringe, Sanders’s proposal erupted into popularity on the campaign trail, even in deep-red states like Kansas and Iowa. Even gubernatorial candidates in states like Georgia, Wisconsin, and Florida focused heavily on Medicaid expansion.
The changes tracked by Data for Progress, with support from MoveOn, come from a field of Democratic candidates who are one of the most diverse groups to run in U.S. political history. The 115th Congress is poised to include a number of historic firsts, including the first two Muslim women in the House: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory over 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York Democratic primary is typically held as the most representative example of the party’s burgeoning progressive shift. At 28 years old, she will likely be the youngest woman elected to Congress, and one of at least two members of the Democratic Socialists of America to be elected this year (Tlaib is the second). On the state level, legislative chambers are expected to turn blue and comprise majority women for the first time. Both congressional and state-level seats are projected to be