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Progressive member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that parts of the official Democratic Party campaign apparatus are "extraordinarily weak" and that the left was not to blame for defeats in the House.

Driving the news: After Democrats lost several key house races in divided districts, moderates were furious and pointing fingers at the progressive wing of the party. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), who is narrowly leading her Republican challenger, vented on a caucus call that Democrats should never "use the words socialist or socialism ever again."

What she's saying: "If you look at some of these some of the arguments that are being advanced, that 'defund the police hurt' or that arguments about socialism hurt, not a single member of Congress that I'm aware of campaigned on socialism or defunding the police in this general election," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN's "State of the Union."

  • "I believe that there are many areas that we can point at in centralized democratic operations that are extraordinarily weak. For example, our digital campaigning is very weak. This is an area where Republicans are actually quite strong."
  • "I believe that many Republicans were very effective at digital organizing strategy as well, whereas the Democratic Party is still campaigning largely as though it's 2005. And I know a lot of us don't want to hear this, but 2005 was 15 years ago. So we can do better."

Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times earlier this week she tried to help swing district Democrats.

  • "And every single one of them, but five, refused my help. And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory."

Go deeper

Poll: Mayors acknowledge police violence as a problem but are resistant to major reforms

Thousands participated in a protest against racism and police brutality in August 2020 in Washington D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 60% of U.S. mayors acknowledge police violence is a "problem in their communities," but 80% believe their police departments "do a good job" attracting "well-suited" officers, according to results of the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Protests against police brutality have swept the nation since last May, when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Black Lives Matter movement has since escalated calls to defund the police.

Updated 54 mins ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.