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Opinion This young Wisconsinite could give Democrats a ‘real’ Senate majority

Mandela Barnes could become a model for progressive and Black candidates if he wins Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race this fall. Julian Zelizer: Barnes effectively won the Democratic Senate primary when his top three opponents all dropped out of the race last week and endorsed him. Zelizer says it's not fair that Black and progressive candidates have to go out of their way to prove their electability. He says he repositioned himself slightly on policy, emphasized his humble background and emphasized that he does not back abolishing ICE or reducing police funding. Zelizer writes: It's not ideal that left-wing Democratic politicians sometimes have to abandon well-grounded positions on policing or health care to prove they can win the electoral viability. After all, White centrist Democrats lose all the time

Julian Zelizer: If Barnes beats Johnson, expect to see Black and progressive candidates borrow from these tactics. A Barnes win would be a huge coup for Democrats, Zelizer says. But a Barnes general election victory isn’t assured, he says. He could help the party keep a majority in the Senate, he writes, and be part of a real Senate Democratic majority. Zelizer writes that Barnes would be another “skinny kid with a funny name” who also is Black, young, charismatic and charismatic.