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Progressivism is having a political moment, but some in the movement fear that the brand is becoming diluted




Campaign brochures about progressive democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are on hand for her general campaign kick-off rally on September 22, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York.
Campaign brochures about progressive democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are on hand for her general campaign kick-off rally on September 22, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

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Ahead of the 2020 election, more and more Democrats are identifying as “progressive.”

But what exactly does the label mean? And who gets to claim it? That’s the question liberal leaders are trying to answer by establishing guidelines and policy platforms to ensure the party remains true to its principles.

Just this election year, 44% of Democrats claimed the “progressive” label, up from 29% in 2016 and 26% in 2014, according to research by the Brookings Institution on the congressional races.

Strategists have said the term gained attention back in 2016 when Bernie Sanders became a progressive icon as he called for free college tuition, "Medicare for All" and a $15 federal minimum wage. Now, as an increasing amount of Dems begin to adopt the label, progressive advocacy groups worry the brand might become diluted.

We discuss where the progressive platform currently stands and what it might look like heading into the presidential primary.

Guests:

John Nichols, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation; he tweets @NicholsUprising

Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist and founder and chief executive officer of Rodriguez Strategies; he is also a former senior Obama advisor in 2008 and tweets @RodStrategies