Dem senator: I may face 2018 primary from Tea Party-esque progressives

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillSanders, Democrats introduce minimum wage bill Mnuchin: WH won't double-count economic growth Technology's role in human trafficking cannot be ignored 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 ObamaWhite House to share info on ethics waivers White House considering vetting Trump’s tweets: report Clinton knocks Trump inauguration crowd size claims 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.”

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“Many of those people are very impatient with me because they don't think I'm pure. For example, they think I should be voting against all of Trump's nominees and of course I'm judging each nominee on its own merit," she said.

McCaskill is among a group of Democrats, including Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampSanders, Democrats introduce minimum wage bill GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill Separating fact from fiction in the Regulatory Accountability Act MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinConvicted ex-coal exec appeals case to Supreme Court Sanders, Democrats introduce minimum wage bill Overnight Energy: Trump energy nominees face Congress | OPEC to extend production cuts MORE (W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellySanders, Democrats introduce minimum wage bill Updated fuel regulations would modernize options at gas pumps Mnuchin mum as Dems press for answers on tax reform, Dodd-Frank 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.”