CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS DELIVER A PROGRESSIVE MANDATE

WASHINGTON – Twenty-six out of the 29 Democratic candidates who won seats previously held by Republicans in the House and Senate championed bold progressive economic positions, according to a new report released today by the Campaign for America’s Future. The report shows that these progressive candidates’ victories represent a swing to the left of 34 votes in the House and 10 in the Senate, reflecting a clear mandate for progressive change.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., newly elected Rep.-Elect Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and AFL-CIO political director Karen Ackerman joined Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage on a conference call with reporters today to discuss the report’s findings.

“This was not simply a change election. It was a sea-change election that marks the end of the conservative era that has dominated our politics over the past three decades.” said Borosage. “Democrats won because they campaigned as progressives, not as moderates or conservatives. On core economic issues, voters gave these legislators a mandate for reform.”

Sen. Brown said candidates that won last night were unified around a common set of bold progressive themes.

“This election ushered in the next progressive era for our nation,” said Sen. Brown. “From health care to trade to education, progressive values will now be the priority in Washington. It’s time to get to work.”

Rep. Edwards, who easily won re-election last night, campaigned with several candidates in close races across the country. Rep. Edwards said the candidates she campaigned with embraced bold progressive positions on every major economic issue.

“Candidates across the country ran and won on a bold progressive agenda,” said Edwards. “Now our challenge is to govern on the progressive agenda – including smart investment in jobs, in infrastructure, in health care and energy, and bringing a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq. It’s an exciting time and I am confident that we will be able to set priorities to deliver the bold solutions Americans expect.”

Rep.-Elect Pingree, who became the first woman to represent Maine’s first Congressional District after leading Republican Charlie Summers in late results, said voters in her district were yearning for bold progressive change.

“This is day one of the change that we so desperately need in this country,” said Rep.-Elect Pingree.

To distinguish progressive candidates from conservatives and moderates, the CAF report compared the positions of the candidates on six major economic issues, including health care, workers’ rights, tax policy, trade, Social Security and clean energy. Out of the 29 Democrats who won House and Senate seats previously held by Republicans, 21 House candidates and 5 Senate candidates supported the progressive position on at least five out of the six issues. Only three of the winning candidates chose to run on a more conservative platform.

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**NOTE: An electronic copy of the post-election report is available at www.ourfuture.org/progressive-mandate-2008.**

PROGRESSIVE ISSUE POSITIONS OF DEMOCRATS WHO WON
SEATS PREVIOUSLY HELD BY REPUBLICANS

Sen.-Elect Mark Udall, D-Colo.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Sen.-Elect Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Sen.-Elect Tom Udall, D-N.M.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Sen.-Elect Kay Hagan, D-N.C.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Sen.-Elect Mark Warner, D-Va.: health care, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Bobby Bright, D-Ala.: trade, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Betsy Markey, D-Colo.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Jim Hines, D-Conn.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Alan Grayson, D-Fla.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes,
Rep.-Elect Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Walt Minnick, D-Idaho: health care, trade, energy, worker rights,
Rep.-Elect Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Frank Kratovil, D-Md.: health care, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Mark Schauer, D-Mich.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Gary Peters, D-Mich.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Dina Titus, D-Nev.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect John Adler, D-N.J.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Harry Teague, D-N.M.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Michael McMahon, D-N.Y.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Eric Massa, D-N.Y.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Larry Kissell, D-N.C.: trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect John Boccieri, D-Ohio: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Glenn Nye, D-Va.: health care, energy, worker rights, Soc. Sec.
Rep.-Elect Gerry Connolly, D-Va.: health care, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
–Senate candidate Al Franken, D-Minn.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.
–Senate candidate Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.: health care, trade, energy, worker rights, taxes, Soc. Sec.