Radical Democrat Antifa-supporting “Squad” members Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have primaries coming up. Both face challenges. But Omar, given the demographics of her district, appears safe. The same factor works against Tlaib.
In Minnesota’s heavily Democrat 5th congressional district, Omar faces off against multiple candidates in an August 11 primary vote. One challenger has bested her in fundraising. But money only goes so far when the district has a basic demographic loyalty to the person you’re trying to unseat. That’s why the challenge is very uphill.
But in Michigan’s also strongly Democrat 13th congressional district, Rashida Tlaib is trying to fend off the very capable challenge of Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.
“Making the argument to Detroiters that you should have another African American representative in Congress has historically been somewhat of a powerful message, and Jones is a known quantity as city council president,” said local political analyst Susan Demas. The district is overwhelmingly black. Tlaib is of Middle Eastern heritage. Demas is black.
“I think the biggest weakness that Tlaib has is she’s not African American and she’s representing a majority minority district. Brenda Jones is. Will that make a difference to voters given the fact that Tlaib is a person of color, she’s highly progressive, and is a known quantity in the district – that remains to be seen,” Demas said. Jones knows her district and is using the right message to beat Tlaib.
“You can be vocal, but the things that were being done — like calling the president a ‘MF’ or booing Hillary — every time something like that happened, I was getting calls from people saying ‘You’re more professional than this,’” Jones said to media. “I’m not interested in being a rock star. I’m just interested in bringing home the money, working for the people of the 13th district and uniting the community.”
The people of the 13th Congressional District know & trust me. I WILL bring home the bacon to the people of the 13th Congressional District! Will you please support my campaign by making a donation today at https://t.co/FmlCAJMoPu (Pt 4/4)
— Brenda Jones (@VoteBrendaJones) July 20, 2020
“Tlaib has a lot of advantages, between money and incumbency. It’s frankly just so difficult to campaign during a pandemic, so that gives incumbents even more of an advantage,” Demas also said, warning pundits not to count Tlaib out. Omar may have an easier run against Antone Melton-Meaux.
“He’s a very strong candidate. He has a very compelling story, just as congresswoman has a very compelling story. I think that has brought people into his camp, in addition to a number of people not being too excited about their current congresswoman,” said local DFL (Democrat Farm-Labor) party Chairman Mike Erlandson.
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— Antone Melton-Meaux (@Antone_MN) July 19, 2020
But again demographics are at work. In a district that has a strong Somali presence, Omar, being Somali-born, plays very well. Her challenger does not share the same heritage.
If by chance either Tlaib or Omar were to lose, the news would be of national import. Both are looked upon as loose cannons by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat establishment. They would likely be very pleased at the political demise of these two “Squad” members.