Pennsylvania and Oregon election results from last night offer cause for hope for progressives: voters rejected the demands of oligarchs and Democratic elites.

By David Sirota, Matthew-Cunningham-Cook and Andrew Perez, Jacobin

If politics lately has seemed a bit like The Empire Strikes Back, then Tuesday night’s stunning elections have offered an unexpected jolt of that Return of the Jedi feeling — at exactly the moment when progressives most needed a boost.

state of Oregon flag behind hand dropping ballot into voting box

Heading into pivotal congressional primaries in Pennsylvania and Oregon, Democratic elites and their corporate donors were likely feeling confident that their huge super PAC spending would successfully buy yet more primary victories for corporate-aligned candidates. Indeed, House Democratic leaders planned to spend Wednesday honoring the anniversary of the New Democrat Coalition, which is the official arm of the party’s corporate faction.

But those football-spiking celebrations now seem premature.

If projected election results hold, underdog progressive candidates will end up winning most of the big primary contests of the night, despite being vilified by oligarch-bankrolled super PACs linked to the Democratic Party machine.

Notably, in at least two of the races, the progressive candidates framed their primary contest as a referendum on the politics of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

The progressive candidates’ success follows new polling data showing Democratic voters are frustrated with their party’s leadership’s incrementalism.

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