Blue Dog Democrats Facing a Revolt

Long-standing group down to 7 after members leave in a rebranding dispute
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 12:43 PM CST
Blue Dog Democrats Facing a Revolt
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., has left the Blue Dog Democrats, along with several others.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Blue Dog Democrats are seen as a moderate bloc in the House—a "fiscally conservative, pro-national security caucus" among Democrats that acts as a counter to progressives, per Roll Call. After the 2008 elections, the group had a healthy 54 members. Today, however, the number is down to seven, the lowest in the group's long history, reports Politico. It might have been 15, but seven members have bowed out and an eighth is undecided. This group, which includes Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, wanted the Blue Dogs to ditch their name and rebrand as the Common Sense Coalition, per Politico.

When a vote on the name change failed, the exodus began. Spanberger's camp (she and Sherrill were the last two female members) worries that the group still carries a stigma of a "boys' club," as Politico puts it, from its Southern roots. Remaining members, including four members of color, dispute that. "It seems like it's been a pretty diverse group of people over the last four years," says an unnamed member. "I'm not thinking of 30 years ago. I don't really entertain that type of critique." As small as they are, Blue Dogs could still wield influence, both sites note. Given the Republicans' slim majority, even a handful of votes can make a difference in the current House. (More Blue Dog Democrats stories.)

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