When he looks specifically at the Democratic primary victors in swing districts, he doesn’t see many politicians like Ocasio-Cortez. “They’re mainstream Democratic candidates,” he said. “They’re more running against Republicans and against the tax and health care bills than they are running to reshape the Democratic Party.”

That assessment dovetailed with a status report on the midterms that NPR published on its website last week. “In interviews with more than a dozen Democrats running in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, California, Nebraska and Washington State,” it said, “NPR found that pragmatism is winning out over progressivism in the key races that will decide control of Congress.”

An analysis by Third Way, a think tank in Washington that promotes what it defines as a center-left agenda, showed that pragmatic Democrats were holding sway generally. While only a minority of candidates endorsed by progressive groups like Justice Democrats and Our Revolution had won their primaries, more than three-quarters of those endorsed by the more centrist New Democrat Coalition had.