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Future of moderates in the Democratic Party

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — there’s a growing call from lawmakers on the left for new leadership in the party.

Will your vote push the party closer or further away from the center?

“Ii think they deserve the kind of leadership that will work across the aisle and get something done,” said Mel Hall, Indiana’s 2nd District Democratic Congressional candidate.

That was Hall’s vote of no confidence for longtime congressional leader Nancy Pelosi from a newcomer running for Indiana’s second district seat.

But how will Hall’s announcement impact his prospects within the party?

“All I think about are the people of the 2nd district,” he said. “I know people across the country have to do what they have to do but my sole focus is to be the very best representative that the folks of the 2nd district can have.”

So could centrist politicians make a comeback?

“Joe Donnelly is a classic test case,” said Rick Klein, ABC News political director. “If there’s a future for moderate democrats, it’s because of people like Joe Donnelly winning reelection in Indiana. Also, senators who are up in places like Missouri, West Virginia, Montana, and North Dakota-- these are the places democrats need to be competitive if they’re truly going to be a national party.”

Donnelly was ranked the 4th most bipartisan senator last year by the Lugar Center.

“Sen. Donnelly doesn’t really have the luxury of saying I’m going to be the most liberal or whatever label you want to attach to it because he lives in a pragmatic state and he represents very pragmatic people and i think that’s the approach he has to take,” said Jason Critchlow, St. Joseph County Democrats chair.

But is that an approach other democrats will take after November?

“I think that’s what voters are looking for that these days,” said Critchlow. “They feel congress is broken and they’re looking for elected officials to actually get something accomplished and not just talk about things.”


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