Hoeffel: Kind of Screwed for Gov
Fair or not, voters have distaste and distrust this year for any candidate running under the “progressive” banner that was so wildly popular just last year.
“I essentially believe that ‘progressive’ is the wrong “P” to be describing yourself as this cycle,” said a Democratic strategist working on congressional campaigns across the country. “ ‘Populist’ is the way to go.”
Candidates, he said, should appear as an outsider who will fight for Main Street, not Wall Street.
Because the concerns of independents will continue to dominate the electoral landscape, the best that progressive candidates can do is to emphasize the overlap between progressive thought and populist ideals, such as reining-in corporate greed and influence.
In 2008 Barack Obama and Democrats won a sweeping victory through a somewhat uneasy coalition of progressive Democrats and a large wave of independent voters seeking populist change.
But President Obama and Democrats in Congress have not delivered to either group, which has tarnished their brand, especially the progressive label.