Politics Roundup: Chicago Journalists Discuss State, Local, and National Elections | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

Politics Roundup: Chicago Journalists Discuss State, Local, and National Elections

There are just 15 weeks until the midterm elections, and a revolution is brewing on the left. 

Progressives and even self-proclaimed Democratic socialists have won primaries across the nation.  

Take Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example. The 28-year-old Bronx native slayed a party giant — longtime Congressman Joe Crowley — with a platform that includes a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free public college and abolishing ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Democrats like her believe that tilting further away from the middle is the antidote to President Trump, especially after Republicans ran away with elections in 2014 and 2016. 

So, what does the apparent division within the Democratic party between moderates and progressives portend for the 2018 midterms? 

Morning Shift digs into that question with a panel of political journalists. We also dive in the governor’s race, mayor’s race, local Congressional races and how much we should read into the latest polling on the Trump presidency. 

On whether running on progressive policies is a winning strategy for the Democratic party

Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington: [Democrats] have to...pick some key issues--maybe it’s abortion...maybe it’s single-payer care — that younger people will respond to.

On Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether voters care

Daily Line reporter A.D. Quig: Absolutely. This has been the predominant issue going back before the 2016 election. I don’t think this is going anywhere, and the more we hear about it, the more questions that come up….It’s huge for [congressional] candidates who are trying to either win or defeat someone. Everything is going through a President Trump lens.

On the major issues in the Illinois gubernatorial election

Laura Washington: One issue that is rising to the surface is taxes, and I think that’s something that Bruce Rauner...doesn’t have a very strong record to run on….But he wants to hammer home that the Democrats are liberals who are going to raise your taxes, who are going to bankrupt the state….And JB Pritzker, of course, has come out for a progressive income tax, which would, in his eyes, ameliorate the impact on lower-income folks.

GUESTS: Dave McKinney, WBEZ state politics reporter
Laura Washington, Sun-Times columnist, ABC 7 political analyst
A.D. Quig, political reporter for the Daily Line

LEARN MORE: 

Little public support for Trump in doubting Russian interference (ABC News 7/22/18)

There is a Revolution on the Left. Democrats are bracing. (New York Times 7/21/18)


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