Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability

An official with the liberal group that helped elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden to go on Iowa tour with swing district lawmakers CNN cancels next week's Iowa town halls Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez hit back at JPMorgan CEO over comments on socialism: 'That's funny' MORE (D-N.Y.) last year pushed back Friday against the idea that progressive candidates aren’t as electable as their more moderate counterparts.

“The Democrats of 2006 look a lot different than the Democrats right now, so even when you look at the Democrats of today, they’re a lot more progressive than in other cycles,” Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas told Hill.TV.

“There’s space being created to go bigger for all Democrats, regardless of how many people are in the House. It’s important to acknowledge that the general ecosystem of what’s possible has totally shifted, and that has benefited moderate and more progressive members,” she added later.

Rojas emphasized that progressive issues such as climate change and tax increases on the rich are now being touted by several prominent House lawmakers. This includes members of “The Squad” of progressive freshman congresswomen that includes Ocasio-Cortez as well as Democratic Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley says she 'would welcome the opportunity' to educate DeVos after abortion, slavery comparison Massachusetts governor apologizes after calling Pressley speech a 'rant' Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (Mass.).

“Taxing the rich and creating an economy that works for everybody” Rojas said. “Those are issues that are being championed by some of the most popular politicians right now — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and other Democrats.”

Rojas added that the group is optimistic about its chances in the 2020 elections. 

So far, the progressive organization has endorsed eight newcomers in districts across the country. The group has also backed seven incumbent Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, as well as Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaWarren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald Sanders co-chair: Greenwald charges could cause 'chilling effect on journalism across the world' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules MORE (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Rojas said the group’s strategy for the 2020 elections is "part art and part science," adding that its nomination process that allows communities to choose whom they think would best represent them.

“It’s always important to remember what we’re fighting for,” she told Hill.TV. “At the end of the day, yes we’re challenging corporate Democrats — folks that deserve to be challenged — but we’re also electing champions of their communities.”

Rojas's comments come as progressive heavyweights Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Warren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report Biden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll MORE (D-Mass.) continue to hold onto the top spots in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, increasingly threatening national front-runner former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE.

—Tess Bonn