Her opponent, Representative Joe Crowley (D-NY) was the favorite to replace House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and to ascend to Speaker of the House if the Democrats regained their majority. Crowley outspent Ocasio-Cortez nearly seventeen to one and had not had a challenge in the primary since 2004. During the campaign, Crowley skipped two debates against Ocasio-Cortez, sending a surrogate instead. Many took his absence as a sign of his confidence in a victory.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory seemed against all odds. When discussing reasons for the surprise victory, Ocasio-Cortez said:
“People try to identify who is the most likely person to turn out, and what we did is that we changed who turns out. And that changes the whole electorate.”
That didn’t stop many people from dismissing her win as a matter of demographics due to the diversity of the 14th District, a majority-minority district which includes the Bronx and parts of Queens. Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to rebuke these skeptics as well.
Some folks are saying I won for “demographic” reasons.
1st of all, that’s false. We won w/voters of all kinds.
2nd, here’s my 1st pair of campaign shoes. I knocked doors until rainwater came through my soles.
Respect the hustle. We won bc we out-worked the competition. Period. pic.twitter.com/RbpQMYTiWY
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 29, 2018
Some are hoping that Ocasio-Cortez’s win is a signal of a nationwide step to the left in response to increasing uncertainty characterizing the era of President Donald Trump.
Trump also had something to say about Ocasio-Cortez’s win, but unlike Hannity, he seemed excited.
Wow! 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! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
Trump’s giddiness at Crowley’s loss made him seem unaware that the woman who ousted him was even further left and more vocal against the Trump administration’s policies. Americans were quick to inform him.
The woman who won is Latina and spent last week protesting your policies on the border. She is young, and strong and, I assume, deeply threatening to your base of man-babies.
— Alison Hoskins (@AliWHoskins) June 27, 2018
Oh yea, you’re gonna love this 28 year-old Latina – and I hear she has big plans for you ; )
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) June 27, 2018
It’s too soon to say whether or not Ocasio-Cortez’s victory is indicative of the impending “blue wave” Democrats are hoping for or if her win will remain local to New York. Regardless, a Democratic candidate defeating a longtime incumbent with such a far left platform has instilled a weary Democratic base with a sliver of hope.