Progressives vowed to take on Joe Biden the minute he defeated President Donald Trump.
But the unresolved Senate races in Georgia are helping to keep the peace between the party’s warring factions for a few more weeks — and then it’s open season.
The logic behind the current cease-fire is simple: If Democrats don’t take back control of the Senate, much of the progressive agenda is doomed.
That’s why the left has thrown its weight behind Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidates in Georgia who do not back “Medicare for All” — a major liberal priority. Ossoff, in particular, is not seen by progressives as one of their own. Still, top progressive elected officials and organizations are putting aside their disappointments to campaign and raise cash for the Jan. 5 races anyway.
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“All of the big-ticket items, and even some of the smaller items that I ran on in my race, are largely dependent upon having leadership of the Senate that shares my values,” said Rep.-elect Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), an incoming House progressive. “And that requires electing Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) team said she has raised more than $600,000 for outside groups working to elect the Georgians. The Working Families Party, a national left-wing organization, is planning to spend upwards of $1 million on the campaign. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), members of the so-called Squad, are working to turn out Muslim voters in the state, including by recording a robocall.
Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has long had an icy relationship with Ossoff, is lending a hand. When Ossoff ran unsuccessfully for the House in a 2017 special election, Sanders said that he didn’t know if he was progressive. This year, Sanders faced pressure for initially not endorsing Ossoff, though he had previously come out in support of Warnock.