Victories like these have led the Progressive Change Campaign Committee to declare vindication for its view that Democrats win when they campaign on a platform of muscular liberalism. “A message of economic populism is what actually excites voters and drives them to the polls,” Adam Green, PCCC’s co-founder, told me. “Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot if they don’t embrace it.”
PCCC supported the winning candidates in these races and funneled donations to them. The group also supported an incumbent California congressman, Mike Honda, who faced a challenge from a former Obama administration appointee, Ro Khanna; Honda finished 22 points ahead of Khanna, but the two will face off again in November thanks to California’s nonpartisan primary system. And in a fourth primary, the free-for-all battle for the California seat vacated by retiring Representative Henry Waxman, the group didn’t endorse a candidate but urged its members to vote against former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel, a former Republican whom they painted as supported by corporate interests. Greuel lost to Ted Lieu, whose message of raising wages and easing student debt progressives applauded.