On Tuesday, barring any surprises, Democrats in New York will nominate Andrew Cuomo to serve as the party’s nominee—making it highly likely Cuomo will eventually serve a second term in the governor’s office. In his first term, Cuomo lowered taxes for the rich, increased corporate subsidies, undermined public sector unions, championed charter schools, and blocked campaign finance reform. Were it not for progressive stances on marriage equality and abortion, Cuomo might easily be mistaken for a Republican. Yet for his second term, Cuomo won the backing of the influential Working Families Party—the standard-bearer of progressive values in New York politics. This should come as no surprise. For progressives, electoral politics has always been a game of compromise.
My Daily Beast colleague David Friedlander recently published an essay suggesting that some progressive political groups are angry at Emily’s List because some of the women candidates it has backed have not been that strong on issues of economic populism. Of course, the critique could be made in the other direction. For instance, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee, the main critic of Emily’s List in Friedlander’s article, is backing Iowa’s Pat Murphy in his bid for Congress—despite the fact that in recent years, Murphy earned a 100 percent approval rating from anti-abortion groups in Iowa and a 0 rating from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (not to mention less-than-enthusiastic support from grassroots progressive groups on the ground in Iowa).