Jun 27, 2018

The big picture: What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's win means

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her victory party. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Rep. Joe Crowley hadn't faced a primary challenger in 14 years until 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came along. Timing is everything, and 2018 couldn't have been a better year for her to run.

The big picture: Her victory wasn't just an isolated incident. It reflects the Democratic Party's fight for their identity under President Trump.

Why it matters: For the first time in more than a decade these voters had a chance to elect a representative who actually looks like them. “Why is it that the congressman can proudly discuss his Irish heritage on the campaign trail, but I am somehow barred from mentioning my Puerto Rican family?” she told The Intercept.

By the numbers:

  • 61% of residents in New York's 14th district, which includes the Bronx and Queens, are minorities, including nearly 50% Hispanic or Latino. 45% are millennials.
  • 75% of Americans say immigration is a good thing for the country — the highest share of people who think that since 2001. And 51% of voters blame President Trump and the GOP for the state of immigration in the U.S.
    • One of her campaign planks was to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • For the first time ever, Americans are evenly split on whether they would like a health insurance system paid for by the government or through private companies, per Gallup.
  • 62% of Americans have a positive reaction to a "Medicare-for-All" campaign slogan, which Ocasio-Cortez supported, but that's a policy position that establishment Democrats shy away from.
  • 54 of the 293 women who are running for House or Senate in 2018 are challenging incumbents in their own parties, per the Center for American Women and Politics. That includes 34 Democratic women.
  • Crowley spent $1.02 million to Ocasio-Cortez's $127,000 between April and June in the Democratic primary, per CBS. The national party campaign arms will have to recognize that money might not be everything.
  • From Stacey Abrams in Georgia to Jared Polis in Colorado to the diverse candidates who took over Virginia's state legislature in 2017, Ocasio-Cortez is certainly not the last insurgent newcomer to shake up the Democratic Party.

Be smart: Democrats need to figure out how to meld the two factions of the party — progressives who are ready to fight Trump at every step and "establishment" Dems — into a cohesive, winning coalition.

Go deeper

Judge rules against Trump policy limiting public comment on energy leasing

Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday overturned a 2018 Trump administration directive that sought to speed up energy leases on public land by limiting the amount of time the public could comment.

Why it matters: U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush's decision voids almost a million acres of leases in the West, according to The Washington Post. It's a victory for environmentalists, who tried to block the change as part of an effort to protect the habitat of the at-risk greater sage grouse.

  • The ruling invalidated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, and affected 104,688 square miles of greater sage-grouse habitat, per The Associated Press.
  • Leases in greater sage-grouse habitat will return to allowing 30 days of public comment and administrative protest.

The big picture: From Axios' Amy Harder, this is the latest in a long and convoluted list of regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration is pursuing on environmental rules that courts are, more often than not, rebutting. With Congress gridlocked on these matters, expect the courts to be the default way Trump's agenda faces checks (unless, of course, a Democrat wins the White House this November).

Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.

Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.
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