Few jobs in politics might be tougher than to be a moderate member of Congress. Moderates typically hail from competitive districts, which means they enter office with targets on their backs from an opposition eager to wrest away their seats. And unlike their colleagues in safely blue or red seats, they must juggle the concerns of a diverse constituency, meaning less room to embrace the kinds of ideas that appeal to an activist base.
Moderates’ vulnerability also inevitably means a greater burden when it comes to campaign fundraising. In 2018, for instance, moderate Democratic candidates who won their campaigns spent twice as much as winning candidates from more liberal, comfortably blue districts. Moderates, in other words, literally paid the price for Democrats’ majority — a fact the progressive left should keep in mind as the 2020 election approaches.
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