‘Trump changed everything’: Big cities break hard left in Dem primary


In the shadow of Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters sitting across from City Hall, Elizabeth Warren has snagged endorsements from Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and two incoming City Council members here.

It’s a far cry from the 2016 primary, when the vast majority of the city’s Democratic establishment lined up behind Hillary Clinton, and gave the cold shoulder to her progressive opponent, Bernie Sanders.

From New York City to Los Angeles, many of the nation’s biggest cities have turned even harder to the left under President Donald Trump, putting pressure on local officials to embrace the leading progressive presidential candidates — or withhold their endorsements entirely for fear of antagonizing newly energized activists. It’s a drastic political shift in some places, where for decades entrenched party bosses crushed any signs of life on the left or tended to put the weight of big-city institutional support behind Democratic establishment-oriented candidates.

“The progressive, structural change agenda has captivated the grassroots, and local elected officials are the first people to notice those changes and trends and adapt,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the left-wing Working Families Party. “There is a ceiling on transactional, machine power. It’s considerable, it’s real — but there’s a ceiling on it.”

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