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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 BaldwinHillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Poll: Baldwin leads GOP challenger by double digits in Wisconsin The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Trump, Pence fan out to protect the Rust Belt MORE (D-Wis.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence MORE (D-Ohio), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBiden: Trump administration 'coddles autocrats and dictators' Warren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Dem lawmaker to Saudis: Take your oil and shove it MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel 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 TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing 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 Patrick DuffyFox contributor: Warren's ancestors 'rounded up Cherokees for the Trail of Tears' On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel 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.