Red-State Dems May Reach Across Aisle Ahead Of 2018

For a handful of Senate Democrats facing tough races in 2018, conservative pressures from voters back home could encourage more centrist stances ahead of next year’s midterm elections. 

Aggressive bipartisanship, in other words, may be the best hope for red-state Sens. Claire McCaskill, Joe Donnelly, and Heidi Heitkamp to woo on-the-fence voters in their respective states of Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota.

All three of the Democratic lawmakers scored  in the top third of the Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index of the 114th Congress, a quantitative ranking of how frequently a member voted across party lines.  Donnelly finished at No. 2. The bipartisan bills the three have sponsored have pertained mainly to veterans and the VA, health care, and state-based economic development, specifically in promoting agriculture and job creation.

“Democrats have to be very, very careful that they’re not primaried by their own people over [health care],” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “After that, anything that comes up -- if anything does come up -- is going to be specifically endemic to their state.” 

Read more from Ford Carson at RealClearPolitics

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