With the progressive squad of Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) capturing most of the headlines, the vulnerable Democrats are left to respond in stronger and stronger terms. The four liberals have forced majority-makers like Hill to distinguish themselves with voters and donors early and often.

“You have these four members frankly that were elected from seats that are going to be Democratic no matter what and represent a very small fraction of the party as a whole,” said Hill. “And it’s like they’re the only ones that exist.”…

To survive, vulnerable Democrats are shrugging off their more progressive colleagues. It’s a strategy they employed last year when Republicans dropped millions on a steady stream of TV ads tying them to then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Pelosi-themed ads ultimately didn’t work and Democrats netted 40 seats — their largest gain since Watergate. But the ‘tweet first, explain later’ strategy, utilized by Ocasio-Cortez and friends, who wield nearly 5 million Twitter followers between them, puts Democrats like Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) in a tough spot.

“We all won in districts when we were accused of being somebody else, or something else,” said Spanberger, before reprising the viral line from one of her 2018 debates: “I am Abigail Spanberger. I’m not anybody else.”