Establishment Democrat Joe Crowley’s nearly two-decade career in Congress came to an end Tuesday night in a shocking primary loss to 28-year-old Democratic Socialist and former Bernie Sanders organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a harsh critic of Israel and immigration enforcement.
Crowley – the 56-year-old Chairman of the House Democratic caucus had long been viewed as a potential House Speaker, and has been a staple in New York City politics as chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party.
His loss to insurgent candidate Ocasio-Cortez, his first primary challenge in 14 years, is a major upset to establishment Democrats trying to cobble together a “blue wave” of progressive support to combat Republicans in the upcoming midterms. Instead, it looks like Democrats are as fractured as ever.
(there are eleven more tweets listing Crowley donors, so we’ll stop here)
And speaking of Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept has covered New York’s 14th Congressional District race extensively (see here). Here’s why they thought she might have a chance back in May:
THE SAFE MONEY on a race in a machine-dominated district is to bet on the boss. And, to be sure, Crowley is likely to be the favorite. But Ocasio-Cortez has a few plausible reasons to believe there’s a path to victory:
She has more than 8,000 individual donors; that’s a pool she’ll continue to grow and can keep tapping into if her campaign gains momentum. It suggests that the 5,000+ signatures she turned in were no fluke.
Primaries are very low-turnout affairs, meaning the absolute number of votes she needs to win is quite low, in the high-four figures or low-five figures.
Crowley is the king of Queens, but he represents the Bronx from a distance. If Ocasio-Cortez can organize and run up her numbers in the Bronx, while holding her own in Queens, she can win.
The case against her isn’t based on substance, but on raw politics. Crowley is a very good old-school politician: engaging on the stump, charismatic, and diligent about building relationships. He has close relationships with the bosses of the Bronx machine, which can turn out votes. And, for many Democratic voters, he’s not that bad. –The Intercept
President Trump took the opportunity to throw salt in Crowley’s wounds Tuesday night, tweeting: “Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out!”
Or, maybe Ocasio-Cortez schooling Crowley over ICE was the nail in the coffin in these politically charged times?
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