The Wave Of Roses is a Citizens Truth series which highlights progressive candidates and organizations which challenge corporate Third Way control of the Democratic Party. This entry looks at key United States House of Representatives races for the reignited movement in the United States. This entry showcases candidates with the opportunity to win in currently Republican controlled districts.
While commentators and reporters with mainstream outlets doubted the viability of progressive candidates, the Justice Democrats organization saw twenty-six candidates win primary elections during this election cycle. Most of those victories came by those running for seats in the United States House of Representatives, leading to several intriguing races against Republican adversaries.
Ammar Campa-Najjar vs Duncan Hunter, 50th Congressional District of California
Since being featured in the Citizen Truth, The Wave of Roses series earlier in his campaign, Ammar Campa-Najjar’s incumbent opponent Duncan Hunter has been indicted on 60-counts due to alleged illegal use of approximately $250,000 of campaign money. He and his wife Margaret are said to have used the money to fund their lavish lifestyle, going as far to file false campaign records with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
A survey conducted by KGTV-TV and Survey USA from August 22-26th show that Hunter holds a 47-39 lead among likely voters in the heavy Republican district. However, the poll was taken immediately after news of the indictment broke, meaning the full brunt of the negative attention may not have taken effect. Campa-Najjar’s grassroots campaign has time to continue spreading his message as Hunter continues to deal with the indictment. It’s likely this election will fall between two to four points.
In what is expected to be a wave election for the left, Campa-Najjar is a serious threat to an incumbent whose credibility is in question.
Matthew Morgan vs Jack Bergman, 1st District of Michigan
While FiveThirtyEight projects Jack Bergman chances of victory are extremely high, progressive Marine Veteran Matthew Morgan has an opportunity to the Republican incumbent. The campaign between two Marine officers is highlighting their stark political differences. Despite being booted off of the Democratic primary ballot over a technicality, Morgan was able to garner over 29,000 write-in votes to place his name on the ballot in November, “In order to make it onto the ballot, Morgan needed to win 5 percent of the total votes cast in the district for governor on the Democratic side, a figure that came to roughly 3,700 votes. His Marquette County total alone should qualify him for the ballot,” explains Ryan Grim of the Intercept and The Young Turks.
While Morgan is not receiving help from establishment Democratic groups he has the endorsement of labor, nurse, and teacher organizations. While there has yet to be any public polling for the race, Michigan’s 1st district could be a measure of how Social Democratic ideals play in blue collar districts.
James Thompson vs Ron Estes, 4th Congressional District of Congress
Progressive James Thompson has the opportunity to avenge his 52-46 2017 special election loss to incumbent Ron Estes in the 4th district of Kansas. Thompson was easily able to defeat Laura Lombard in the recent Democratic primary and has the opportunity to take advantage of his heightened name recognition.
During the primary, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined Thompson at the Unite For America Rally in Wichita, Kansas. During the primary, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined Thompson at the Unite For America Rally in Wichita, Kansas. FiveThirtyEight projections do not give Thompson a high percentage chance of winning, despite most recent polls showing Thompson being within four points of Estes with nearly 20 percent of ‘likely voters’ being undecided.
Those numbers are key for Thompson as grassroots, and especially progressive campaigns have shown to energize voters who do not routinely vote, especially those under 50. Polling methodology lists these individuals as ‘registered voters’ not ‘likely voters.’ Thompson being with four points with likely voters is a great sign for his campaign if the gap closes to two points — he could unseat Estes, placing another progressive voice in the House of Representatives.
Thompson’s race is important for the progressive movement, as a victory would dampen Classic and Conservative-Liberal talking point of progressive policies not being popular outside of the costs or with white voters.