Updated Jul 3, 2018

A progressive "Blue Wave" could swamp Democrats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The "Blue Wave" is crashing over the Democrats' own party.

The big picture: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory over Rep. Joe Crowley wasn't just an isolated incident. It reflects the Democratic Party's fight for its identity under President Trump.

Centrists and incumbents are getting swallowed up. Although Crowley is the only incumbent at the federal level to lose his primary, 37 Democratic state legislators have been defeated by their challengers so far.

  • Progressive minority candidates — like Ocasio-Cortez, Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Ben Jealous in Maryland — are leading the charge in defeating more moderate candidates.
  • Another progressive win in New York ... Dana Balter, a Syracuse University professor, defeated Juanita Perez Williams, a Navy veteran who was backed by the national Democratic Party campaign arm.
  • 10 candidates endorsed by Our Revolution, the Bernie Sanders aligned progressive group, have won their primary so far.

The dark blue wave ... Democratic Socialists of America, which endorsed Ocasio-Cortez, is a growing force within the party. Its membership has ballooned from 7,000 to 37,000 members since the 2016 election, per NY Times.

  • The group supports things like Medicare for All and abolishing ICE, which more and more Democrats are embracing, like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
  • Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a leading progressive group, has launched a campaign to tarnish the New Dem brand of centrist House members.

The other side: After more moderate candidates like Doug Jones and Conor Lamb helped Democrats pick up seats in unlikely places, the party saw them as a path to the majority. They didn't consider how President Trump has radicalized candidates on both sides.

Be smart: Democrats need to unite the competing wings of their party before November if they want to win, but they're missing a central figure who can pull that off.

Go deeper

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What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.

Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest

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The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."