Top Democrat Loses Primary Election to an Actual Socialist

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Has primary season ever brought with it so many twists? One of the latest head-scratchers is the news that a leading Democrat in the House of Representatives list his primary to a woman who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. What does this news foreshadow for the general election?

Rep. Joe Crowley, from New York,  lost Tuesday night to a socialist community organizer: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Crowley, having fundraised nearly $3 million for the race in New York’s 14th District, fell easily to a first-time candidate with a viral introduction video, a Democratic Socialists of America membership card, and a proudly leftist agenda. She ran on Medicare-for-all, a federal jobs guarantee, and getting tough on Wall Street. The race was called just before 10 pm for Ocasio-Cortez,” Vox writes.

Vox, and others, are labeling this as a big upset–perhaps the biggest primary upset since David Brat knocked off majority leader Eric Cantor back in 2014.

“Crowley, who has been in Congress since 1999, is the No. 4 Democrat in the House and was widely viewed as an eventual successor to minority leader Nancy Pelosi,” Vox adds. “Though he was a stalwart progressive on nearly every issue, he also had close ties to Wall Street. This made him a formidable fundraiser, something Ocasio-Cortez turned against Crowley in the primary. She eventually fundraised about $600,000 through small-dollar donors.”

Bronx and Queens tend to vote Democratic. Ocasio-Cortez, after Tuesday night’s victory, is considered a lock for the congressional seat in the fall.

The differences between the two may foreshadow the direction the next election might go.

As Vox notes, the two have little in common, other than their district. “At 28, Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t be a bigger contrast from 56-year-old Crowley. She was born in the Bronx to working-class parents. Her mother is Puerto Rican. Her father is from the South Bronx. She’s a former staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.”

Her youth and outsider status, combined with her more aggressive left-leaning politics, has made her appealing to the voters in her district. Crowley, on the flip-side, represents all of the establishment politicians that younger voters seem to be rallying against.