Ryan Costley: State of the General

Aaron Bennett: 2020 watch

I believe that a big field and a fierce competition of ideas is the best thing for the Democratic Party. This column will break down the upcoming presidential election and the competition for the Democratic nomination by focusing on what matters: the candidates, their messages, their ideas, and their stories.

My aim in writing this is to provide some clarity – both for myself and hopefully for others – in a contest that will almost certainly be drowning in “news of the day,” petty infighting, and other ultimately irrelevant information. I certainly won’t shy away from pointing out some of my favorite candidates, but I’m going into the primary with an open mind and an open heart: giving every candidate a chance to make a compelling case and win both.

Approaching the primary in this way – in good faith and with an understanding that Democrats are all on the same team – is the party’s best chance to find the ideal nominee and strengthen the party. 

This column will be both a quick-hitting one-stop-shop for major campaign updates as well as a substantive in-depth look at individual candidates.


AC Brake: From Kentucky to DC

This column intends to examine the sentiments of many Americans from the southern and Midwestern United States, getting up close and personal with the people so that we can take an empathetic dive beyond the numbers. Each article will embody the theme: stop labeling people and get to know them.


Aaron Bennett: FOUR Democratic Superstars to Keep Your Eye on in 2018

Despite ever-changing electoral landscapes, demographics, and headlines, one rule of politics remains constant: good candidates always have good odds.

Just look at Congressman Conor Lamb (D-PA18), whose charisma, centrism, and kitchen-table-issues focus helped him grind out a win in a deep-red district last March. Or underdogs Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley – both of whom successfully primaried popular progressive incumbents by out-hustling their opponents. Or even Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), whose loss in the 2010 Republican primary didn’t deter her from launching a write-in bid that ended in her successful reelection and one of the greatest upsets in political history.

The lesson is the same: don’t count out strong candidates facing long odds.

This mini-series – which I’ll write every Monday ahead of Election Day – will profile four superstar candidates to keep your eye on come November 6. Full disclosure: I’m an unabashed Democrat, so I’ll only be highlighting Democrats who are overperforming in tough districts.