Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillFive takeaways from the Georgia special election Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Potential McCaskill challenger has .7M: report MORE (D-Mo.) on Thursday compared a faction of Democrats calling for their party to become increasingly progressive to the Tea Party movement that grew out of Republicans’ opposition to President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaTrump: 'I couldn't care less about golf' Top Obama official to replace Chris Dodd as MPAA head Trump blames Obama for vetting of Flynn MORE.
That wing of the party, McCaskill said on “The Mark Reardon Show” in St. Louis, could offer up a primary challenger to take on the two-term senator when she runs for reelection next year.
"I’m for sure going to run," McCaskill said. "And I may have a primary because there is, in our party now, some of the same kind of enthusiasm at the base that the Republican Party had with the Tea Party.”
McCaskill is among a group of Democrats, including Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampDems struggle with abortion litmus test Lawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDems struggle with abortion litmus test Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE (W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyDems struggle with abortion litmus test What prospective college students need to know before they go — or owe Battle begins over Wall Street rules MORE (Ind.), who face reelection next year in red states that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in the 2016 election.
In her Thursday interview, McCaskill took aim at her own party, saying that the Democrats haven’t listened to the concerns of voters “that fundamentally think Washington, D.C., is not paying any attention to their needs.”
More ideologically stringent party members have pushed Senate Democrats to reject Trump’s Cabinet nominees and Supreme Court pick on the spot, McCaskill said. Among the 13 Cabinet picks that have been confirmed so far, McCaskill has voted in favor of seven and against five. She said she hadn’t yet decided how she will vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
"As of today it's about half and half of the ones I've voted no on and the ones I've voted yes on and I'm making an individual decision based on merit on each one," McCaskill said. "That's not good enough for some of these folks who want me to be just against Trump everywhere.”