Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), wave to the crowd at the end of a campaign rally in Wichita, Kansas on July 20, 2018. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

These 14 Democrats Are at Core of What Bernie Sanders Calls the 'Most Progressive Freshman Class' in Modern US History

"The political establishment notwithstanding, the future belongs to progressives."

Jake Johnson

As conservative pundits and self-interested corporate Democrats predictably attempted to spin this week's midterm election results as a win for so-called moderates and proof that the Democratic Party should tack to the center, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dismissed this "absurd line" in an interview on Thursday and called the incoming crop of newly elected House members "the most progressive freshman class in the modern history of the United States."

"Many of these folks are not just women, not just people of color, who campaigned on Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks, campaigned on making public colleges and universities tuition-free, on undoing Trump's tax breaks for billionaires."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

"Many of these folks are not just women, not just people of color, who campaigned on Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks, campaigned on making public colleges and universities tuition-free, on undoing Trump's tax breaks for billionaires," Sanders told Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi in response to one Washington Post columnist's claim that Sanders-style progressives "scare" voters.

"I think the Washington Post is going to be very surprised at who shows up on the first day of Congress and gets sworn in," Sanders said. "The political establishment notwithstanding, the future belongs to progressives."

The group of diverse and unabashedly bold progressives—disproportionately young and female—who will help shape House Democrats' agenda in the months and years to come include Michigan's Rashida Tlaib, Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and New Mexico's Debra Haaland, all of whom ran on platforms including Medicare for All, ambitious climate action, and a $15 minimum wage.

Below is the full list of the newly elected Democratic representatives who were endorsed by Sanders and prominent progressive organizations like Justice Democrats and Our Revolution. (Click the image or here to enlarge.)

In his Rolling Stone interview, Sanders said the establishment dogma that candidates must temper their progressive positions and remain firmly in the center of the political spectrum to win elections "enabled Republicans to gain control of the Senate and the House and the White House and for Democrats to lose almost 1,000 seats in the previous nine years."

This new group of elected progressives, Sanders said, provides strong evidence that unwavering support for immensely popular policies like Medicare for All and commitment to fighting for the working class produce voter enthusiasm that can't be matched by business-friendly centrism.

"It wasn't moderate Democrats or conservative Democrats who got young people into the political process," Sanders concluded. "It wasn't moderate Democrats who increased voter turnout in this election compared to four years ago, I think by almost 50 percent."

As Ocasio-Cortez declared Tuesday night in her victory speech in New York, "When we advocate and champion the causes of our neighbors and our economic dignity, and come with innovative and ambitious plans for our future, there is no state beyond our grasp, and no community beyond victory. We just need to keep at it."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Hundreds Arrested in DC Demanding Voting Rights, End to Poverty, and Death of Filibuster

Clergy and low-wage workers with the Poor People's Campaign are also calling on Congress to treat the nation's immigrants with respect.

Jessica Corbett ·


'He Should Resign': Women's Rights Group Denounces Violent Misogyny of Kevin McCarthy

"With Kevin McCarthy voting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, it is clear that his comments are reflective of his deeply held beliefs about how women should be treated."

Brett Wilkins ·


Amid Allegations of Child Endangerment, HHS Inspector General to Probe Fort Bliss Detention Facility

Whistleblowers had sounded alarm about the detention center contractors betraying children’s health and wellbeing.

Andrea Germanos ·


Lawsuit Initiated Against Trump for 'Illegal' Deportations Resumes Against Biden

"We gave the Biden administration more than enough time to fix any problems left behind by the Trump administration, but it has left us no choice but to return to court."

Julia Conley ·


100+ State Lawmakers Join Texas Dems in DC to Demand Passage of For the People Act

"I really want to make sure they understand what we're going through in Florida," said one legislator, calling for "a federal firewall from these state voter suppression activities."

Jessica Corbett ·