Disclosure: Jake is a friend of mine, but I did not do any work for the campaign and I do not live in the 4th.
I am a little dismayed by some of the sour grapes I am seeing from progressives regarding the Jake Auchincloss win in the CD4 primary. Both from my fellow ranked choice voting proponents (duly noted most of the CD4 candidates including the winner and runner up support Yes on 2, as should you) insisting that Jake would not have won under RCV (my answer: we have no idea, it was not a ranked choice campaign) and a recent call on this site to redistrict the 4th to make sure a “true” progressive can win.
I think the alarm is misplaced. If Jake were running in any other state he would be considered a full blown progressive. He is 100% pro choice, pro gun safety, pro demilitarizing the police, pro public investment in clean energy, a green transit network, housing reform, and racial justice. Just check out his website if you do not believe me. He is committed to cutting the Pentagon budget by 10% and ending our forever wars. As a former marine he knows firsthand the cost of war and will make sure we never go to war again unless there is a valid reason and a viable plan to win. I think his experience in public health through his family also gives him a unique perspective and he was the only CD4 candidate to host town halls with scientists and doctors on the pandemic. He is 100% pro science. He is not only an advocate for immigrant justice but an advocate for expanding legal immigration and the number of refugees we admit at a time when that is losing popularity and emphasis in both parties. He has vowed to repeal the Hyde Amendment and pass sweeping reforms to ensure full LGTBQA equality across the country. This is not a candidate who would get elected in a conservative district. He is neither an economic moderate like Dean Phillips nor a social moderate like Conor Lamb. He is a pragmatic progressive.
The big differences he had with his opponents was about the means to achieving change, not the ends. He is for a robust public option. Not even a reliable liberal like Barney Frank stuck with that policy during the 2009 ACA debates, because it was not passable at the time. It is passable today and Jake is for it. Single payer is not. He is for massive public investment in climate change mitigation, local green jobs making clean energy, and a massive regional/federal investment in our decaying public transit infrastructure. Jake is one of the few candidates who talked about addressing local needs such as the housing affordability crisis, the transit/traffic crisis, and the jobs losses that COVID will bring and has already brought. He is a solid progressive on education favoring teacher raises, smaller classes, universal pre-K, and more funding for vocational education and student debt relief.
The differences in the primary were all regarding style and symbolism rather than substance. Jake is methodical. He seeks to build consensus to actually pass progressive laws. He is soft spoken. He values listening to voters. He won because he campaigned in the working class and immigrant South Coast communities the rest of the Brookline and Newton based candidates neglected. These are all qualities lacking in the bombastic bromides that substitute for leadership in the White House. I would hate for the left to insist that only bomb throwers are acceptable or only the votes of affluent liberals should count in congressional primaries. Jake has said his model for congressional leadership is Katherine Clark. Like Clark, I am confident he will unite the 75% of the party that voted for one of his opponents behind him. He is already doing that outreach. Like Clark, I am confident he will focus on the job at hand and getting the work done rather than angling for a higher office or seeking headlines. I am confident he is going to be the progressive pragmatist he promised to be and wish him well.