A lot is uncertain about the midterms, but there’s one thing we do know—the House will have the largest left cohort in decades.

by Branko Marcetic, In These Times

It’s been a rough year for progressives, or so the headlines tell us. Pundits have been quick to elegize the left electoral movement after several high-profile primary defeats in New York, Illinois and Texas. ​Left loses momentum.” ​Progressives are in danger of losing influence.” Pundits are ​seeing limits on the political support for their reformist vision of the country” with this year’s ​spate of losses” only the ​latest blow to progressive power,” as the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party struggles ​to find a winning formula.”

The jubilant mood at the Vermont senator’s September roundtable with a group of progressive House primary winners, then, might come as a surprise. ​The Squad” — the moniker claimed by the troupe of progressive and democratic-socialist insurgents who started elbowing their way into the House in 2018 — is expected to number in the double digits in 2023, with at least four likely inductees poised to safely win blue districts in November. All in all, progressives are set to claim at least six Congressional seats opened up by redistricting and a record number of retirements.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks to the press on the pending reconciliation bill pending before Congress.

I was elected to the House and took office in 1991, and I can tell you there was nothing — nothing — like what we will be seeing in Congress next year,” Sanders said.

If that’s the case, it will not only be thanks to the political talents of the candidates themselves, but to the work of groups like Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party (WFP), among the most prominent of the multiplying constellation of organizations devoted to overturning the Democratic establishment. For this faction, the fight is bigger than any one election cycle, whether defined by shock progressive upsets as in 2018 or this year’s handful of undeniably bitter losses. And they measure success as much by the lengths their opponents are going to stop them as by the number of congressional seats they control.

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