Pressley victory in MA may just backfire on Democrats

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On Tuesday, Pressley became the latest primary challenger to upset a sitting Democratic member of Congress, defeating 10-term incumbent Rep. Mike Capuano in the Boston-area district once represented by John F. Kennedy.

Her victory echoes that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old socialist who stunned veteran Congressman Joe Crowley in NY, and Rashida Tlaib, set to become the first Muslim congresswoman after winning the race for John Conyers' vacated seat in MI.

Balloons fall around Democratic candidate for U.S House of Representatives Ayanna Pressley at her primary election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., September 4, 2018.

"This is OK. America is going to be OK".

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley spoke at a rally at City Hall Plaza in 2014. Capuano spent much of 2017 urging caution for Democrats who wanted articles of impeachment brought against Trump.

Pressley shares many of her positions with Ocasio-Cortez, but stops short of describing herself as a socialist. Capuano - along with the entire MA congressional delegation - supports the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, making assaulting a police officer a federal crime.

"This is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our democracy", Pressley said Tuesday while campaigning in the district.

"She won by cultivating a constituency that was looking for new leadership and new leaders", Panagopoulos said.

Capuano is the second Democrat and fourth House incumbent to lose a primary for the November midterms.

Another stalwart in the Democratic Party's Old White Guard went down in flames on Tuesday. She also worked for former senator John Kerry.

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Social worker Rashida Tlaib and former Somali refugee Ilhan Omar won Democratic primaries in MI and Minnesota respectively, putting them on course to become the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Another longtime Democratic congressman has lost his seat in a primary upset to a candidate who appeals to those in the party seeking younger, more diverse voices.

Coming from heavily Democratic districts, Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez won't determine whether Democrats pick up the 23 new seats necessary for a House majority.

She won a rising star award from Emily's List in 2015.

"I just thought it could have been done in a way that would have [brought] more people into the discussion, rather than actually anger an very bad lot of America", Capuano said.

Pressley, who labeled President Trump racist and misogynistic, said she knew when she launched her campaign that she "would find no favor with the Democratic establishment both here at home and in Washington". But anyone who's been watching the Democratic Party's march to the hard left - in plain view yesterday during the outrageous Democratic performance at the first confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh - won't be surprised. According to VoteView ratings, Capuano is the 15th most liberal member of Congress - and the most liberal member of the not-very-conservative MA delegation.

The success of left-leaning minority Democratic candidates has not been limited to federal races.

She is no political newcomer.

"People will respond when there are newcomers on the ballot, when you have highly spirited campaigns and when you are taking it directly to the president", Ubertaccio said.

"If we can't be bold of visionary or leading from this seat, there's no other seat in the country that has these progressive bona fides and the opportunity to be unrestrained and unencumbered", she said at a recent event.