Election 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Had a Big Night in New York's Primary. Hillary Clinton Fell Flat.

AOC smashed her primary challengers, and her endorsement of a fellow progressive upstart helped end Rep. Eliot Engel's congressional career after 16 terms.

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This year's primary season has been a mixed bag for the insurgent progressives within the Democratic Party's ranks, but Tuesday's results in and around New York City seem to have cemented Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' (D–N.Y.) status as more than a fluky upstart.

Ocasio-Cortez easily won her congressional primary election on Tuesday night, a result that effectively ensures a second term for the 30-year-old. Then, she may have delivered a knockout blow to a 16-term incumbent who had been endorsed by Hillary Clinton and other long-time Democratic leaders. It's too soon to call her a kingmaker within Democratic politics, but two-years after she beat an 11-term incumbent, Ocasio-Cortez—with help from the vast sums of money she's been able to raise in the past two years—appears to have scored another victory in the proxy war between leftists and centrists.

This time, the victim was Rep. Eliot Engel (D–N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a noted hawk, who appears to be on course to lose to Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal whose candidacy was endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez. With 91 percent of precincts reporting and absentee ballots still waiting to be counted in the 16th district—which includes parts of Bronx and Westchester counties—Bowman had a whopping 25 point lead over Engel on Wednesday afternoon.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman was endorsed by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), while the longtime incumbent Engel picked up an endorsement from Hillary Clinton last week to go along with support from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.).

But Clinton, Pelosi, and Schumer couldn't save Engel, who seems likely to become just the second incumbent Democrat to lose a primary this year after Rep. Dan Lipinski (D–Ill.).

Bowman, a 44-year old teacher-turned-principal, used his campaign to call for a "third Reconstruction" to build on the legal and social advances made by black Americans in the wake of the Civil War and again during the civil rights movement. He's called for removing military weaponry from police departments and repealing the 1994 federal crime bill that caused America's prison population to skyrocket.

In the neighboring 14th district, Ocasio-Cortez saw off a trio of primary challengers with relative ease. With only absentee ballots left to be counted on Wednesday afternoon, she had won more than 72 percent of the vote.

The most serious challenge to Ocasio-Cortez came from Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor and self-described fiscal conservative who criticized the first-term progressive's expensive agenda. But she was no match for AOC's campaign spending.  Ocasio-Cortez has raised more than $10 million since 2019, and she spent more than $2.4 million on Facebook ads alone since January—far more than any other member of Congress has, The New York Times reported last week—as the COVID-19 pandemic effectively halted traditional campaigning in her district.

We should not overstate the success of progressives during this campaign cycle. In the presidential race, most obviously, candidates who tried to raise their profile by competing in the "woke primary" were rejected by voters and an old white guy with a track record that's anything but progressive eventually emerged as the party's presumptive nominee. With Engel being only the second centrist incumbent to lose a primary this year suggests that 2020 is not exactly a bloodbath for moderate Democrats.

That the party establishment has limited the losses is probably good for the Democrats' chances in November. If the party wants to expand its House majority, flip the Senate, and take the White House, it has to appeal to voters in purple and red districts—not just those in the Bronx or at Berkeley.

Still, Congress could be a better institution with more outsiders who are willing to challenge their party's leadership, as Ocasio-Cortez has done on occasion. And, if nothing else, at least we get to enjoy the defeat of a Clintonite interventionist like Engel.

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  1. CNBC anchor and self-described fiscal conservative

    Please choose one – – – – – – – –

    1. That’s why it’s self-described, no one with two brain cells to rub together would ever call her that.

      No one with two brain cells to rub together would work at CNBC either, but I digress.

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  3. “AOC smashed”

    So, does this idiot realize he’s parroting Marxist rhetoric or is he actually a closet Marxist running a con in Reason?

  4. New York City trying to outdo California. And succeeding.

  5. This is just getting embarrassing.

    1. 3 liberal women so one of them had to win. I guess the voters (those that were able to outrun ICE) in her district went with the idiot they were familiar with.

  6. I suspect the Democratic Party’s Center will be gutted in 2022 if Biden wins in November and the economy continues to limp along in the shadow of Covid. The suburbs will turn red again which is where most of the Dem center represents, but AOC and her pals will be fine.

    1. America will be gutted in Biden wins. If Biden wins AOC will oversee the economy and environment and Beta O’Rourke will oversee the 2nd Amendment.

      1. America’s already been gutted.

  7. But Clinton, Pelosi, and Schumer couldn’t save Engel, who seems likely to become just the second incumbent Democrat to lose a primary this year after Rep. Dan Lipinski (D–Ill.).

    You know, it’s possible that elitist star power like that just isn’t going to swing the south Bronx in an election.

    1. Engel’s district is the north Bronx, notably the well-to-do Riverdale area, and extending into Westchester County.

      1. Huh, so that’s where that show on Netflix is based upon.

  8. Still, Congress could be a better institution with more outsiders who are willing to challenge their party’s leadership, as Ocasio-Cortez has done on occasion. And, if nothing else, at least we get to enjoy the defeat of a Clintonite interventionist like Engel.

    It’s hard to find anything enjoyable about any aspect of this. Saying congress would be better off doing anything like AOC does is cringe-inducing. AOC epitomizes what is wrong with Millennials and the direction things are headed.
    I don’t personally care so much that this is being written because I’ve been a libertarian for basically my whole life and have seen this magazine take a nosedive, but there are people on the internet who aren’t as steadfast in their views who read this stuff and legitimately think that this is a libertarian perspective.
    I saw a comment on twitter from someone yesterday saying they question the legitimacy of libertarianism after reading ENB and seeing how she behaves on twitter. Fuck that.
    First ENB this morning basically cheering AOC and now Boehm with this garbage.

    1. I thought you were spending the day doing screech?

  9. See, people keep saying stuff like this–

    In the neighboring 14th district, Ocasio-Cortez saw off a trio of primary challengers with relative ease. With only absentee ballots left to be counted on Wednesday afternoon, she had won more than 72 percent of the vote.

    And they leave out ‘in-person’. AOC has won about 73% of the in person vote.

    With that margin, the only reason they’d bother counting the other ballots would be for record keeping purposes.

    Or if there are enough absentee and provisional ballots to change the outcome.

    1. I seriously question the legitimacy of that primary. The entirety of the in-person vote was tiny. With all the chaos in NYC, a good argument could be made that voters were too intimidated by BLM & antifa to go out, and I don’t trust mail-in voting after what we’ve seen in Patterson, NJ and other places.

  10. Ocasio-Cortez—with help from the vast sums of money she’s been able to raise in the past two years

    Somebody needs to remind her that she’s a Socialist.

    1. Why? She’s acting just like you would expect a self-proclaimed socialist politician to based on history.

      1. It’s dollarsignparkyen he’s special, humor him.

        1. I’m good enough.
          I’m smart enough.
          And gosh darn it, people like me.

          1. Franken? You’ve been quiet since you got caught on your titty grabbing spree. Do you have regrets giving up your seat so easily knowing that Biden got way past second base without consequences?

            1. Biden got way past second base without consequences?

              Past second base with children no less.

    2. In the Soviet Union, the people were poor but the party bosses were rich. Nothing unusual here.

  11. Ocasio-Cortez—with help from the vast sums of money she’s been able to raise in the past two years—appears to have scored another victory in the proxy war between leftists and centrists.

    It’s time to get the money out of pol… oh fuck it.

    1. When you have rich Uncle Soros on your side fundraising’s a snap.

  12. But she was no match for AOC’s campaign spending.

    I thought we all agreed that you can’t buy your way into office.

    1. Michael Bloomberg couldn’t and he spent large amounts of his own money. Jeb Bush couldn’t even though he had a large war chest.

  13. “…He’s called for removing military weaponry from police departments and repealing the 1994 federal crime bill that caused America’s prison population to skyrocket…”

    Shit, I could almost vote for him. Almost.

  14. “”Hillary Clinton Fell Flat.””

    One of these days she will master getting into an SUV.

    1. She should just hire those guys she uses who drive up behind people really quietly, put a bag over their heads and pull them into the SUV. They haven’t failed her yet.

      1. She has the most amazing wet work contractors. Almost like she has something occult, like a grandfather editor or a probability warper.

        I mean, seriously? He died because a free weight crushed his windpipe? What the fuck?

        That no one has ratted yet, is probably the most amazing part.

        1. They all know it will be slow and painful if they do.

  15. AOC is young, smart and a good communicator. I suspect she will go far in politics. She may not be every ones favorite, but she popular with her district and clearly has some reach.

    1. She’s popular in her district, because it’s been gentrified. Not a good barometer for the rest of the country

    2. Even after fucking them out of who knows how many jobs by screwing with Amazon.

      Still won by 50+ points through in person voting. Guess her district didn’t care.

      1. She’s a celebrity.
        Pretty sure that’s all there really is to it.
        You have to give her credit for the hustle she put in to get there initially in 2018, and she propelled herself to notoriety before Nancy had that talk with her.
        She can coast now.
        The guy she first beat didn’t have near the stardom she’s achieved

        1. They voted for her because she is a celebrity. That is some scary shit right there.

    3. Did you just call her smart?

    4. AOC is young…
      Yes.

      smart…
      Hahahahaha

    5. Certainly young. I can give you ‘good communicator’. But ‘smart’? Not in any way that matters.

      1. To and the two ahead of you, yes she is smart. The fact that you don’t want to acknowledge her intelligence suggests that you are one who are not all that smart. There are many people I disagree with and yet I can acknowledge their intelligence. Why can you not do the same?

        1. Because we actually listen to what she says, and it isn’t intelligent. If you truly believe that AOC is intelligent, then you either have a very skewed idea of what intelligence is, or you’re just engaging in cognitive dissonance because you like her for some reason and don’t like hearing bad things about her. Heck, if you removed the word “like” from the English language, you would eliminate about 50% of the content of anything she says.

        2. To and the two ahead of you, yes she is smart.

          Based on what? Can you point to any debate in which she has given intelligent responses? What kind of intellectual accomplishments does she have?

          1. Yes, If you listened to her questioning of Michael Cohen regarding the way Trump value properties, you would see she intelligently probed the way properties were value one way for taxes and another for loans.

            1. All she is doing is read prepared questions (and likely questions prepared by others at that). How does that tell you anything about her intelligence?

              1. Your trying too hard. You asked when she was intelligent, for some examples I gave you one, you then decided that was not really good enough. Lets make this simple, what do you need for proof of her intelligence and is it really possible for her to meet your standard. I don’t want you asking if she could explain Einstein’s theory of general relativity or do polar to cartesian math conversions.

  16. Let’s not all rush to board the progressive train yet, shall we? Engel’s time was UP! When AOC and Co. can’t start to provide everything they campaign, then what? Voted out — like Engel! (Hopefully quicker!)

    1. Do you live in some parallel universe where voters pay attention to the actual records of politicians as opposed to simply swooning along whenever they spit out all the right platitudes on camera? If so, how do I get to your universe?

      If not following through on campaign promises ruined politicians I can barely think of a single one that would keep their job, let alone occupy them for decades at a time.

  17. She was elected 2 years ago. Doubt anyone is shocked she won a primary. Tim Pool was trying to sell this idea that her seat was in danger. AOC is safe until the Dems gerrymander her into history.

  18. Engel’s loss could be explained by the loss of Jews and gain of blacks in the district.

  19. I like how we pretend that AOC is a non-interverentionist. She opposed pulling out troops from Syria and opposed reducing troops from bases in Europe. So, a non-interventionist by Koch standards is an interventionist that white liberals like. Embarrassing

    1. In all fairness, she’s more of a whatever Trump does is wrong kind of politician. Other than lunatic socialist babble, I doubt she has any real concrete positions on anything. That would require actually learning and understanding subject matter.

      1. So she’s really just Trump who tells leftists what they want to hear and doesn’t require fake tanning?

        1. Actually, yeah. She’s literally the left’s version of Trump.

      2. AOC isn’t a politician at all, she’s a puppet for Cenk Uygur’s Justice Democrats.

        And, yeah, their ideas really are this bad.

  20. It’s really hard to fathom the degree of stupidity required to listen to that total idiot AOC and actually be persuaded on anything. I just shake my head.

    1. It’s why the Electoral College is more important than ever.

    2. I’m still surprised her $21 Trillion dollar Pentagon budget to pay for Medicare for All tweet didn’t tank her career. That was a new low in ignorance even by Democratic Socialists of America standards.

  21. hilry clinton deserve next president she is a very good women

  22. I was so hopeful that this political it girls 15 minutes of fame would be up. Sigh.

  23. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Had a Big Night in New York’s Primary.

    AOC is the gift that keeps on giving… for Republicans.

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