Democratic Voters Reject “Manchin-Sinema Wing” in Key Pennsylvania, Oregon Primaries

Prominent progressives overcame major spending by conservative super PACs in a blow to the Joe Manchin-Kyrsten Sinema wing of the Democratic Party, The Intercept reports.

The biggest upset came in Oregon, where former Blue Dog Coalition Chair Kurt Schrader, an incumbent backed by President Joe Biden despite tanking his prescription drug bill, lost to challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who repeatedly slammed him as the “Joe Manchin of the House.”

McLeod-Skinner won despite more than $1 million in ads from a super PAC funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Conor Lamb:

Though not necessarily an upset, centrist Rep. Conor Lamb got shellacked in his Senate primary against Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

Lamb was endorsed by Manchin and received hundreds of thousands in backing from Wall Street executives.

Lamb argued that he was the most electable candidate in the race but lost the primary by more than 30 points.

Steve Irwin:

An AIPAC super PAC backed by Republicans spent more than $3 million attacking progressive Summer Lee and boosting centrist Steve Irwin in Pennsylvania’s 12th District but Lee ultimately prevailed by less than 1,000 votes.

Carrick Flynn:

The House Majority PAC, which is linked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Protect Our Future PAC spent more than $10 million to back newcomer Carrick Flynn in Oregon.

But Flynn failed to even crack 20% of the vote as state Rep. Andrea Salinas, who is backed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Working Families Party, pulled out the win.

“Tuesday’s results suggest that Democratic voters — at least those in Pennsylvania and Oregon — would prefer that Democrats do more rather than less, delivering a stinging rebuke to the Kyrsten Sinema-Manchin wing of the party,” wrote The Intercept’s Ryan Grim. “Next week, voters in Texas will cast ballots in a number of runoffs that pit progressives against super PAC-backed centrist Democrats.”


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