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Progressives Ruining Our Chance of Winning the House, Centrist Dems Say

“We can’t win the House back with progressives running in swing states,” one former congresswoman said

Centrist Democrats, eager to retake the majority in the House of Representatives, are taking aim at far-left liberals and progressives in their party.

Last week at Netroots Nation, a progressive conference held in Atlanta this year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) declared far-left progressives the “heart and soul” of the Democratic Party.

“We are not the gate-crashers of today’s Democratic Party,” Warren said, invoking a term first used to describe the liberal blogosphere that emerged a decade ago. “We are not a wing of today’s Democratic Party. We are the heart and soul of today’s Democratic Party.”

That’s the very statement that centrist Democrats are pushing back against.

“We can’t win the House back with progressives running in swing states,” said former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA). “Our party should be looking to expand the tent. If we divide ourselves, we’re doing our opponents’ jobs for them.”

A Democratic strategist who worked for former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Jim Manley, agreed with Tauscher.

“I don’t think we as a party can be casting too many people aside,” Manley said. “We need to figure out how to grow and bring everybody together. I realize that’s happy talk but that’s the reality. When you start talking about purity tests, that’s a little problematic.”

But a strategist and a former congresswoman are a far cry from a sitting U.S. senator presumed to be running for the White House in 2020. Do centrists hold enough sway over their party to wrest control from far-left liberals like Warren? Time will tell.