Although the 2022 mid-term primary races are just beginning, it has not been a good start for socialists like Nina Turner, who was obliterated at the ballot box by her less-progressive Democratic opponent Shontel Brown in the primary race to become the Democratic Party’s general election candidate for the U.S. House District 11.

How bad was the defeat for Turner, the national co-chair for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2020 presidential election and a key surrogate for Sanders’ presidential aspirations in 2016? Well, let’s just say it was a very early call in the contest. After all of the votes were tallied, Brown emerged victorious with a whopping 63 percent of the vote to Turner’s rather miniscule 36 percent.

Make no mistake, Shontel Brown is far from a conservative Democrat. After all, she is an advocate for Medicare for All. Yet, when pitted against Turner, a socialist if ever there was one, Brown is surely the lesser of two evils.

Just how radical is Nina Turner, who many progressives assumed would handily defeat Brown in the primary?

For starters, she was president of Bernie’s brainchild “Our Revolution,” which is “America’s leading grassroots-funded progressive political organizing group” that seeks to “transform the Democratic Party into a more progressive party.”

According to her campaign website, Turner supports:

  • “the right to a useful job that pays a living wage”
  • “the right to a completely cost-free education and access to broadband internet”
  • “the right to decent, safe, affordable housing”
  • “the right to a meaningful endowment of resources at birth, and a secure retirement”
  • “Medicare for All”
  • “free public college and cancel student debt”
  • “the Green New Deal”
  • “recurring federal relief for families” aka Universal Basic Income
  • “continue the moratorium on evictions”
  • “housing as a human right”

Fortunately, at least for the next few years, we don’t have to worry about Turner being a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. But, the bigger story could be whether or not this outcome is a bellwether for future primary races. If it is, it surely does not bode well for the future electoral prospects of the socialist wing of the left. Then again, it could be an aberration. Only time will tell.

PHOTO: Nina Turner at Los Angeles City Hall Bernie Sanders Rally. Photo by Sara Mossman. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Chris Talgo (CTalgo@heartland.org) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at StoppingSocialism.com.