The triumph of a moderate Democrat in the mayoral primary in deep blue New York City appears to accelerate a recent trend of some of the party’s most fervent voters breaking away from its most progressive candidates. Eric Adams, a former New York Police Department captain, this week became his party’s nominee to lead the nation’s largest city after making a centerpiece of his campaign his rejection of left-leaning activists’ calls to defund the police.

His win comes on the heels of victories by self-styled pragmatic candidates in relatively low-turnout elections — which tend to draw the most loyal base voters — in races for a U.S. House seat in New Mexico, a congressional primary in Louisiana and a gubernatorial primary in Virginia.

And those successes come a year after President Joe Biden defeated more liberal opponents to capture his party’s nomination on his way to winning the White House. It all raises questions as to the best candidates and approaches for Democrats trying to hold on to slim majorities in Congress next year and make inroads in Republican-dominated state legislatures.