Bad News

A politics newsletter, written by Ryan Grim, DC bureau chief for The Intercept and a contributor to The Young Turks.

A Substack newsletter by Ryan Grim

A politics newsletter, written by Ryan Grim, DC bureau chief for The Intercept and a contributor to The Young Turks.

Richard Ojeda running for president

Richard Ojeda, the West Virginia lawmaker who led teacher strikes in the state, is running for president. That story, first published in The Intercept, is here.

A couple quick thoughts on the midterms:

A preliminary look at the data suggests that Democrats may have done far better in rural parts of the country last Tuesday than initially thought. In most cases, the swing toward Democrats wasn’t enough to lift candidates over the top, but the improved performance has a lot of implications for Tuesday’s statewide races, future Senate races, down-ballot contests and for 2020. I’ll have more on that as I look closer at it. If you have thoughts on that phenomenon, don’t hesitate to share.

It was a wave. The fact that some Republicans don’t recognize that only means they won’t course correct.

The most progressive candidates, who were running in deep red districts, almost all lost. Of the insurgents, only Katie Porter in California appears to have flipped a red seat (though ballots are still being counted there). Yet the candidates who ran and won ran on much more progressive platforms than Democrats have in the past. Yet many of those are now being claimed as centrist by the New Democrat Coalition and their outside corporate ally, Third Way. That sets up the unusual scenario of Third Way and the New Dems celebrating wins by Democrats who support policies like Medicare for All, even while Third Way says that Medicare for All is electoral poison. If that’s centrism, sign me up, I guess.

Programming note: I’m taking next week off to work on a book about the Democratic insurgency, putting it in some historical context and telling the story of how we got where we are. It’ll be out early next year, and if you want to get an email letting you know when it’s published, you can sign up here. (Though I’m sure I’ll mention it once or twice in this newsletter.)

A politics newsletter, written by Ryan Grim, DC bureau chief for The Intercept and a contributor to The Young Turks.