RealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win

Even though they have lost several primary elections this year, left-leaning Democrats are still shifting the direction of their party away from the political center, according to veteran political analyst Carl M. Cannon.

"The energy in that party now is in the progressive wing,” Cannon, the Washington Bureau Chief of RealClearPolitics, said Friday on Hill.TV's "What America’s Thinking." "The moderates are shrinking and I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing — I’m a moderate. But you know it’s happening."

Cannon's comments come following a wave of progressive candidates running in this year's primary elections.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mounted a successful campaign against Democratic incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), winning the race for New York's 14th Congressional District in a shocking upset. 

Other progressive candidates — some with the endorsements of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.) and Ocasio-Cortez — turned out in record numbers in races across the country, though few have been successful.

An analysis this week by FiveThirtyEight found that 37 of the 39 candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party’s official campaign organizations managed to win primary elections this year for seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and gubernatorial contests.

Several groups promoting more left-wing candidates did not fare as well but others, such as the Progressive Change Campaign, have managed a win rate of 67 percent.

According to Cannon, insurgent progressive candidates are causing many more established, centrist Democratic politicians to assume more left-wing positions that they might otherwise take.

“In New York, Andrew Cuomo is being challenged by Cynthia Nixon [D], this actress. She’s already pushed him to the left. He’s already changed his position on issues. He’s now come out for wanting parolees to be able to vote and other things like that,” Cannon said. “Even the progressive candidates that lose are nudging the party towards themselves.”