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Ocasio-Cortez tends bar at The Queensboro last month to raise awareness for One Fair Wage. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Top Democrats tell "Axios on HBO" they expect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may eventually primary one of the two New York senators — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2022, or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2024.

Why it matters: AOC has instantly become one of the party's most coveted endorsers (up there with Clintons and Obamas) — and has recently made common cause with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a pairing that could take off.

  • A Harris poll for "Axios on HBO" shows socialism is soaring in popularity, especially with women ages 18 to 54 (55%) and younger Americans.

Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez's communications director, said that when she thinks down the road, she thinks in terms of transitioning Democrats to a party that's unified around progressive policies.

  • As to eventually challenging one of the New York senators, Trent said: "Having worked on her campaign, I don't think we're going to be moving to a different role any time soon."

Be smart: AOC fits great downstate and thrives nationally, but a New York poll by Siena College in March showed she could struggle statewide.

Go deeper ... "Axios on HBO" poll: 55% of women prefer socialism

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Go deeper

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."

Biden challenges GOP agenda: "What are Republicans for?"

President Biden pushed back against Republican efforts to obstruct his agenda during a press conference Wednesday, asking "What are Republicans for?"

Why it matters: Biden's speech comes as he approaches one year in office, facing low polling numbers and a stalled agenda.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Biden’s face mask campaign requires more imports from China

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

American mask manufacturers are getting whiplash, having gone from sleepy sector to mission-critical industry overnight — only to see sales collapse before now being suddenly in demand again.

Why it matters: As the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 rages, health experts now say Americans need legitimate N95 or KN95 masks to best protect themselves — not widely available fakes or less effective cloth masks.

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