The Democratic Party’s lurch left, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, did not turn out well on Tuesday.
All the candidates that President Donald Trump endorsed won; most of those Ocasio-Cortez endorsed lost. Ocasio-Cortez is the new darling of the Left and will represent New York’s 14th District in Congress come January. So also with the candidates Sanders has endorsed since his quest to unseat Hillary Clinton as the Democratic standard-bearer in 2016.
Whether Democrats get the message — that their electoral fortunes might not lie with democratic socialists or communist sympathizers who advocate “free” college — remains to be seen.
Ocasio-Cortez Endorsements Lose
Going into Tuesday, the media had made Ocasio-Cortez, a radical leftist who doesn’t know much about economics or anything else, the new star of the party. Such was the media’s adulation that Ocasio-Cortez began to believe the good press, and took it upon herself to become something of kingmaker for the party, flying thither and yon across the fruited plain to endorse candidates.
That didn’t work out well. Three of five lost.
As the Daily Caller reported, “Ocasio-Cortez went on a tour around the U.S. endorsing candidates Abdul El-Sayed for governor of Michigan, Fayrouz Saad for Michigan’s 11th congressional district, Cori Bush for Missouri’s 1st congressional district and James Thompson for Kansas’ 4th congressional district.”
But the endorsement from the former mixologist wound up more like the kiss of death. El-Sayed took a beating from Gretchen Whitmer, losing by 21.3 points, 51.8 to 30.5.
Saad wheezed to the finish line in Michigan’s 11th district, coming in fourth out of five candidates, while Cori Bush, who sought to unseat an incumbent congressmen in Missouri’s 1st, lost 56.7 to 36.9.
One wonders whether leftist Kaniela Ing in Hawaii really wants the endorsement he’ll take into his primary on August 11. Ditto for other Democrats who have sought the Ocasio-Cortez imprimatur.
Bernie Beat, Too
Meanwhile socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is losing big, too.
Sanders is, in a word, “sputtering,” as Politico reported.
Two years after his defeat in the 2016 presidential primary, the Vermont senator has amassed a growing string of losses in races in which he has intervened. Beginning last year, Sanders-backed candidates faltered in an Omaha mayoral race and a nationally watched House race in Montana.
Then came Rep. Tom Perriello’s loss in Virginia’s gubernatorial primary, and in June, the drubbing in Iowa of Pete D’Alessandro, a top adviser to Sanders during his 2016 Iowa caucus campaign. Cathy Glasson, endorsed by Sanders’ successor group, Our Revolution, fell short in Iowa’s gubernatorial primary, as did Peter Jacob and Jim Keady in two New Jersey House races. Dennis Kucinich lost in Ohio.
Tuesday night brought Sanders and his army their latest blow, with a pair of high-profile losses in Michigan and Kansas.
The losers there were El-Sayed in Michigan and Brett Welder in Kansas.
Of course, Ocasio-Cortez’s losses were Sanders’ as well, given that Sanders is the young lady’s mentor. Both are pushing radical ideas such as free healthcare, “Medicare for all,” and free college tuition, and, at least with Ocasio-Cortez, open borders.
But one advisor to Sanders thinks the Vermont senator is rebranding and rebuilding the Democratic Party in manner akin to what Republicans have done:
“My philosophy — and I think it’s what Bernie was going for — the Republican Party years ago when they couldn’t win elections, they did some soul searching and ran people at the local level,” he said. “Thirty, 40 years later they control every level of government.... That’s what the Democratic Party needs to do. They need to get some fresh faces, go back to their roots and reorganize.”
Fresh faces the party has. The question is whether the party’s less-radical voters want the party adopting an outright socialist platform. So far, it seems, the voters simply want the party’s more conventional ideas, such as high taxes and abortion on demand.
As the Washington Post put it in its headline about Tuesday: “Democratic Party’s liberal insurgency hits a wall in Midwest primaries.”
Photo: AP Images