Put the mainstream Democrats aside. After the midterms, more left-wing insurgents are going to the House, Bernie Sanders has two strong allies in the Senate, and progressive ballot measures passed everywhere. Election night was a good night for the Left.

by Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

Even the most dispiriting election results in the last few years have had important bright spots for the Left, and this year’s deeply unusual midterm election result is no different. In a cycle that transformed overnight from predictions of a Democratic bloodbath to widespread Republican despair, the Left has achieved some major victories that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Summer Lee stands at a podium giving a speech

The major top-line success for the Left this election is the addition of several new insurgent candidates who, like “the Squad” of 2018, were backed by progressive outside groups — notably the Working Families Party (WFP) and Justice Democrats — with little or no support from established party networks. The total of such members now rises to twelve, after four such insurgent candidates sailed to victory in safe blue seats for which they won primaries earlier this year. This year’s crop is Summer Lee (PA-12), Greg Casar (TX-35), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), and Maxwell Frost (FL-10).

This group is notable, among other things, for its seriousness commitments to left-wing policy.

Take the thirty-three-year-old Casar, a three-term Austin City Council member who this March romped to victory in a four-way race with more than 60 percent of the vote. Though hailing from an affluent family, Casar was politicized on the left in college and became policy director for the Austin-based Workers Defense Project, where, among other things, he helped mobile-home residents organize.

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