To counter the immense power that Democrat Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema wield in the evenly divided upper chamber, liberal activists have intensified campaigns to influence the independent-minded lawmakers — but do Democrats risk pushing too hard and pushing the duo away, ultimately costing them invaluable control in the Capitol?
It’s happened before: when Republicans were too aggressive and too public in trying to convince former Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords to stay in line with the party, he left the GOP to become an Independent and — like current Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — caucus with the Democrats, a decision that flipped the balance of power in the Senate during the Summer of 2001.
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