Democrats are set up for victory in 2018 -- and trouble in 2020

For the party’s activist base, more energized than at perhaps any time since the early 1970s, it’s a source of frustration. As the Times explains, these more consistently progressive voters worry that the election of more centrist candidates could impede efforts to pass sweeping left-leaning legislation if they take narrow control of the House. (It could also make it more difficult to impeach the president.)

This conflict is playing out in an especially rancorous way in Minnesota, where Politico reports that the sons of the late progressive Democrat Sen. Paul Wellstone have been ousted from the governing board of Wellstone Action, an influential training group that was founded after their father’s death. The reason for their ouster? Activists within the organization opposed the ambitions of the brothers to try and win back the votes of the mostly white rural and working-class Minnesotans who cast ballots for Trump in 2016. (Trump came within 1.5 percentage points of carrying the state. If he had done so, that would have made Minnesota the fourth state in the Democrats’ famed “blue wall” to flip to the Republicans, after Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.)

Instead of fighting to bring these one-time Trump voters back to the party, the Democratic activists at Wellstone Action would rather have the party rely more heavily on consistently progressive urban and suburban voters, whom they hope to rally in full-throated appeals to “communities of color and the LGBTQI community.”