By many measures, the Bernie Sanders revolution proved a smashing success. Young people registered to vote, and small donors opened their wallets. Economic issues like the minimum wage and student debt were pushed to the forefront of the presidential debate. From big city rallies to the backwaters of precinct-level elections, the progressive movement breathes new life in no small part due to the Vermont senator.
But nearly a year after Sanders’ presidential run fell short, one thing is missing in the afterglow — a reliable string of victories at the ballot box.
The losses are piling up. Earlier this month, Democrat Heath Mello, whom Sanders campaigned with, failed to unseat a Republican in Omaha’s race for mayor. Kimberly Ellis, the candidate endorsed by Our Revolution, the successor group to Sanders’ presidential campaign, lost a fiercely contested race for California Democratic Party chair. And on Thursday night, Republican Greg Gianforte bested Rob Quist, another Democrat for whom Sanders campaigned, in a nationally watched House race in Montana.
Speaking at a victory party, Gianforte called the election proof “Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi can’t call the shots here in Montana.”
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