Dec 27, 2019

AOC's work as Sanders' surrogate triggers presidential speculation

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) continues to be a top campaign surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), there is increasing speculation that she may be positioned as the successor to his progressive political base for the 2024 and 2028 presidential cycles, Politico reports.

Why it matters: AOC has showcased her ability to draw huge crowds of voters in many early-voting and delegate-rich states while campaigning for Sanders — as their dual events have drawn the largest crowds for any presidential candidate in 2019.

  • While Ocasio-Cortez has focused on getting Sanders to the White House, these events have allowed her to hone her own stump speech — sometimes in Spanish — and outline her own progressive vision, Politico notes.

What they're saying: "The future of the Democratic Party is not Pete Buttigieg. It’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, president of the California Young Democrats, told Politico.

  • "She has gripped the attention of fellow millennials across the country. The Green New Deal has changed the conversation on environmental action in the Democratic Party."

Yes, but: It's still too early to know where the country stands on electing a democratic socialist, even as mainstream Democrats have started taking Sanders' White House bid more seriously in recent weeks.

  • The Republican Party has been working to paint AOC as a villain since she first entered office — an attempt to drive down her favorability ratings years before the 30-year-old is even eligible to seek the White House.

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AOC: "In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party"

Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told New York Magazine that "in any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party."

Why it matters: Her statement is reflective of the widening split between moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party as the 2020 presidential campaign begins to heat up. "Democrats can be too big of a tent," she said.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020

Bernie Sanders endorsed by key progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders during a June rally in Santa Monica. Photo: Jonathan Alcorn/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president on Sunday.

Why it matters: With Jayapal's endorsement, Sanders has the backing of both CPC co-chairs, after Rep. Mark Pocan endorsed him last week. He also has the support of influential progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020

Bernie Sanders has more steady support in Iowa than any other top candidate

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has shown remarkable consistency in polls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — especially in Iowa, where many of his supporters say their votes are locked in just weeks ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Where it stands: A Des Moines Register poll showed that 57% of Iowans who view Sanders as their first choice say their mind is made up. No other candidate received more than 30% commitment from their current supporters. The Iowa caucuses are on Feb. 3, 2020.

Go deeperArrowDec 27, 2019