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Major progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements

Major progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements
© Greg Nash

Progressive group Democracy for America (DFA) on Friday unveiled its first round of midterm endorsements, supporting four senators up for reelection in 2018.

DFA announced it is backing Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Next Congress expected to have record diversity Infrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs MORE (D-Wis.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (D-Ohio), Bernie SandersBernie SandersClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach No, the government cannot seize, break or 'bypass' pharmaceutical patents — even for COVID-19 MORE (D-Mass.).

The group, which was founded in 2004 by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), argues that these four senators will stand up to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE and hold his new administration accountable.

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“As we continue to elect exciting new leaders to the U.S. Senate like 2016 winners Catherine Cortez-Masto, Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris, it’s absolutely essential that we ensure Baldwin, Brown, Warren, and Sanders return to the US Senate in 2019 to fight the Trump agenda and build an economy that delivers for the working class,” DFA chair Jim Dean said.

Senate Democrats have a rough map in 2018 as they embark on an uphill battle for regaining the majority in the upper chamber. They need to defend 23 seats — including two seats held by Independents who caucus with the party. Meanwhile, Republicans need to only protect eight seats.

Ten of the seats Democrats must defend are in states carried by Trump in the 2016 election, which included Brown's and Baldwin’s. Trump carried Ohio by 8 points and delivered an even bigger surprise by winning Wisconsin, which hadn’t gone red since the 1984 election.

Brown has already drawn a challenger: Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel. Mandel is seeking a rematch against Brown, after unsuccessfully challenging him in 2012. But it’s still early and other Republicans are potentially eyeing the seat.

No declared challenger has materialized against Baldwin, but Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line McCarthy blasts Pelosi's comments on Trump's weight MORE (R-Wis.) is reportedly weighing a bid.

Sanders and Warren, two progressive stalwarts, will likely face an easier path to reelection. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (R) is weighing a challenge against Warren.

DFA has previously contributed to Brown and Baldwin’s Senate campaigns. The group also tried to draft Warren to run for president in 2016 and eventually endorsed Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.