DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Democrats sound the alarm on Joe Biden's young voter problem

NBC News

“I'm deeply concerned about the impact that a lack of enthusiasm from young voters could have in a general election,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group that backs Sanders. “The consistent concern has been that nominating Vice President Biden would be essentially a repeat of the 2016 election.”

Failing to excite young voters in the primary has been a “significant red flag” for Democrats in recent decades, Sroka said: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who were backed by young people, went on to win the election, while Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore lacked that enthusiasm and ended up losing.

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‘Extraordinary change’: How coronavirus is rewiring the Republican and Democratic parties

Politico

Progressive Democrats, anticipating a recession and high rates of unemployment, are preparing to use the coronavirus pandemic to draw their party to the left on economic policy, attempting to broaden support for a Green New Deal as a way to spur employment while decarbonizing the economy. And they are watching party leaders closely in negotiations for the rescue package — and demanding constraints on corporations that receive federal aid, as well as guarantees for the working class.

Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the liberal political action committee Democracy for America, said “We’re in a moment right now where obviously one of the long-term impacts of the coronavirus is likely to be a complete restructure of our economy.

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Liberal group backs challenger to Hoyer

The Hill

The progressive group Democracy for America is endorsing Mckayla Wilkes (D) in Maryland’s 5th District race as she seeks to oust House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D), who is serving his 20th term in Congress.

“Born to a single mother still grieving her father’s unexpected death and raised with the help of welfare benefits and a close extended family, the struggles low-income families in Maryland’s 5th District face aren’t an abstraction for McKayla Wilkes, they’re part of her life story,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy for America. “That’s why Democracy for America is so excited to endorse her race for Congress.”

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Dan Lipinski defeated in Illinois House primary

The Hill

“Marie Newman’s primary win tonight is a tremendous victory for progressives and everyone who believes the Democratic party should be unequivocal in its support for abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and the fight for economic justice," added Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy For America.

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Longtime anti-abortion rights Democratic Rep. Lipinski defeated in Chicago-area primary

NBC News

"Marie Newman's primary win tonight is a tremendous victory for progressives and everyone who believes the Democratic Party should be unequivocal in its support for abortion rights, LGBTQ equality and the fight for economic justice," Yvette Simpson, CEO of the liberal group Democracy for America, said. "We can't wait to fight alongside her for "Medicare for All," a Green New Deal, and robust criminal justice reform through November and beyond

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Democrats spar over electoral appeal of 'Medicare for All'

Peter Sullivan

"People that have been schooled in the ways of Washington for decades think that arguments rooted in trying to scare people about the potential of losing what they’ve got right now is politically powerful,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for the progressive group Democracy for America. “But I also think we’re in a moment where more and more Americans are getting less and less from their health insurance than ever before.”

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5 takeaways from fiery Democratic debate

Max Greenwood and Julia Manchester

“Tonight, all three frontrunners had strong nights that likely won’t fundamentally alter the top-tier of the contest,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of the liberal PAC Democracy for America

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How White Male Democratic Presidential Candidates Are Struggling with Questions of Privilege

Lissandra Villa

“They may have to explain themselves in ways that they haven’t had to explain themselves before,” says Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, “but they don’t have to deal with the host of institutional disadvantages that women and people of color face to even get to the position to run for a position like President of the United States and be taken seriously.”

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Opinion: What Sanders gets - and others don't - about our climate debate

James Downie

As fellow panelist and Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said: "Where we are now with the environment, people need extreme aggressive action on it."

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Elizabeth Warren isn't just a former Harvard professor. She doled out advice for Dr. Phil

Noah Bierman

“This is sort of a heyday of Jon’s bringing new ideas, new figures to the table,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director for Democracy for America, a leading liberal group.

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Bernie Sanders wants to double union membership and allow federal workers to strike

Sean Higgins

“This is a real pacesetter. It’ll be interesting to see how the other campaigns react to this,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for the Howard Dean-founded advocacy group Democracy for America. “Doubling union membership would be an atom bomb, politically.”

 

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Tlaib, Omar Fundraise on Back of Canceled Israel Trip

Adam Fredo

A fundraising email sent by Democracy for America, a far left political action committee, implores readers to "chip in whatever you can to stand with her and [Rep.] Ilhan [Omar (D., Minn.)] now as they continue to fight for justice for all."

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That is not where the country is'

Seth McLaughlin

“What this debate is exposing in very clear terms is which candidates are prepared to take on the special interests that have been fighting the idea that health care is a human right for the past 70 years and who isn’t,” said Neil Sroka, of Democracy for America. “It shows who is going to push for a big idea whose time has long past come and who, as we have seen for decades, will shrink in the face of opposition,” he said.

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Biden's stark trade reversal

Sean Higgins

“It's good to see Vice President Biden changing course from his past cheerleading for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America, the Howard Dean-founded liberal advocacy group. "That said, I think, especially given his past votes for other bad trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, it's going to take more than few words in a debate for Biden to demonstrate he's truly committed to rejecting any trade deals that allow multinational corporations to get away with everything."

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Will Elizabeth Warren Be Able To Convince Black Voters She's Their Woman?

Maxwell Strachan

"Black activists is one thing,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee. “But we always joke, does Rae-Rae know who you are? Does the everyday person know who you are?”

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Team Biden projects confidence post-debate

JONATHAN EASLEY AND AMIE PARNES

"Joe Biden is failing and his inability to take responsibility for his past actions puts him out of step with where the party is today,” said Neil Sroka, a strategist for the progressive group Democracy for America. “Hands down, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren won the debate series in Detroit. Their growth and strength of support is more the story for me than the degree to which Biden’s is hanging on to his status as a weakened front-runner.”

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J.D. Scholten enters race to unseat Rep. King in 4th District

JARED McNETT

Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee out of Vermont with 1 million national members, announced its endorsement by saying "We’re excited to endorse Scholten on day one of his rematch against King because we know that he will always stand tall for the people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District and our shared progressive values."

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Immigration Opens Another Divide for 2020 Candidates to Navigate

LAURA LITVAN

Neil Sroka, spokesman for the progressive activist group Democracy for America, said Trump will tag any Democrat as favoring open borders, regardless of the person's position. The party's nominee should tap into the enthusiasm of left-leaning voters by proving a "crystal clear contrast" with Trump by supporting decriminalization of undocumented border crossings, Sroka said.

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Harris shows she can take debate punch after Gabbard attack

MAX GREENWOOD AND JONATHAN EASLEY

 “Tulsi’s attack on Harris was one of the more brutal punches I’ve seen thrown at any debate in a Democratic primary,” said Neil Sroka, a strategist for the progressive group Democracy for America. “She raised a lot of important questions, and I’m not sure Sen. Harris has fully addressed the range and depth of those concerns ... It doesn’t doom her completely. Everyone knows that Kamala’s experience as a prosecutor is something that cuts both ways, especially in the world of criminal justice reform and where the Democratic Party is."
 

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Biden absorbs a beating - and reassures anxious supporters

Marc Caputo

"Joe Biden repeatedly showed that he’s our party’s past, and failed to get the big win he needed to solidify his status as front-runner. He was embattled by many challengers, which led to forced errors that will be difficult to recover from,” said Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson in a statement.

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The Real Winners of the Second Debate Were Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

John Nichols

The distinction was so clear that Yvette Simpson, the chief executive of the progressive group Democracy for America, said late Wednesday evening, “The real winner of tonight’s debate was Tuesday night’s debate.” “On Tuesday,” Simpson explained, “Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren not only delivered strong performances, they teamed up to articulate a bold, inclusive populist vision for the future of the country that Democrats need to beat Trump AND deliver a transformative win in 2020. We didn’t get that tonight.”

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Democrats swore off donations from lobbyists and fossil fuel execs. But some are skirting their own rules.

Hailey Fuchs and Michelle Ye Hee Lee

There are gray areas to these pledges that allow smaller donations from lower-ranking employees in the industries, said Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America, a liberal political action committee that advocates for less money in politics. Whether candidates allow for wiggle room in their promises reflects their commitment to "stamping out the role that these powerful interests have in our politics," he said. "It in some ways helps highlight just how insidious the corporate control of our politics are, and just how much work has to be done to really stamp out the incredibly powerful role that these kind of corporate interests have on our politics," Sroka said.

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Biden campaign ad celebrates private insurance - Medicare for All advocates push back

Jake Johnson

Democracy for America (DFA), a progressive advocacy group, condemned Biden's ad as an attempt to "pit working people and generations against one another to perpetuate a broken healthcare system that values health insurance CEOs' paychecks over people's lives." "We know a better world is possible," DFA tweeted, "and that's why we fight for Medicare for All."

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Booker takes on Biden in bid to break through crowded field

Elana Schor

Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive group Democracy for America, urged Booker to “speak from a place that’s real to him,” warning that he has verged on “a stage where it’s more platitudes and less authentic.” On issues beyond criminal justice, she added, the debates could exert pressure on Booker to be more than “the guy in the middle” who neither directly courts the left nor actively alienates it.

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Lowey faces her first primary challenge in three decades

Jennifer Shutt

Democracy for America, a political action committee that supports progressives but doesn’t necessarily seek to oust Democratic incumbents, has gotten an application for endorsement from Jones. But they haven’t begun to evaluate Jones’ candidacy, or the views of progressives in the district, said the group’s CEO, Yvette Simpson. She did, however, have a favorable view of some of Jones’ policy positions. “It looks like Mondaire Jones appears to be an amazing progressive,” Simpson said. “He’s running on the right platform. He seems to have the credentials. He’s getting a lot of attention for his race. But we still have a lot to figure out.” Added Simpson: “Nita Lowey has been in this seat for a long, long time, and it’ll be interesting to see how he differentiates himself in this district.”

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Warren pulls closer to Sanders in progressive straw poll

By David Siders

The last three months have transformed the 2020 Democratic race for president and these results make it clear that Democracy for America members’ support is solidifying behind three candidates committed to bold, inclusive populism and structural reform,” Charles Chamberlain, DFA’s chairman, said in a prepared statement. “Going into the second debate, there's little doubt that Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have momentum building behind them. As Bernie Sanders continues in his position as the progressive front-runner, we’re very interested to see if he uses this debate and the all-important month of August to build up from his robust base of support or cedes ground to the rising challenges of Senators Warren and Harris."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders leads 2020 poll of liberal progressives

By Seth McLaughlin

As Bernie Sanders continues in his position as the progressive front-runner, we’re very interested to see if he uses this debate and the all-important month of August to build up from his robust base of support or cedes ground to the rising challenges of Senators Warren and Harris,” said DFA Chair Charles Chamberlain. “While a lot will change between today and the first contests next year, after seeing these results, there is no doubt that, in 2020, Democrats are better positioned to nominate an unapologetic champion for progressive values for president than we’ve been in decades.”

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Why Progressives Think Joe Biden Is Not 'Electable'

Asma Khalid

"If you can afford for the world not to change, you take the slow approach," said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy for America. "If you're a privileged few that can wait for 'Medicarefor All,' then maybe you can be a moderate, but we don't have time for that."

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Progressive activists know their enemy in the 2020 Democratic primary: Joe Biden

Ella Nilsen and Tara Golshan

“You had the Buttigieg boomlet earlier this year and you might have thought that might have continued into a place like this, but it really hasn’t,” Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for progressive political action committee Democracy For America, said. “What’s pretty clear is it’s Bernie, it’s Warren, and maybe it’s Kamala.” “Frankly, I think a lot of the people here are going to be making strategic decisions on who they vote for in the primary,” he said. “At the end of the day everyone here is committed to electing an inclusive populist champion for president.”

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