Polls Show AOC Would Beat Schumer, So Why Isn't She Running For Senate?

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 16 February 2022 12:00
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If the radical-Leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wishes to mount a Democratic primary challenge to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, she should move now.

Her opportunity has a short life as New York state’s filing deadline closes on April 7, ahead of the June 28 Democratic primary.

AOC has never openly said she was looking for a primary challenge to Schumer, who has led the Democratic caucus as both minority and majority leader and is a leading fixture in New York politics, where his allies credit him with being closely attuned with his constituents.

But many of Schumer’s actions have been analyzed as trying to please the Democratic Party’s activist Liberal base. Including trying to raise the amount of spending in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

Rumors spread in Washington, claiming that some Progressive activists were pushing for a primary challenge to Schumer, with Ocasio-Cortez seen as the most likely opposition for such a bid.

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The Progressive Ocasio-Cortez has risen to prominence and has become a fundraising powerhouse. She was reportedly considering a challenge for the Senate; however, in an interview with CNN last year, she said she had not seriously considered a primary against her fellow New York Democrat, but she also did not exclude the possibility.

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Historian and author David Pietrusza told the Washington Examiner that New York’s petition period starts March 1 and that “you don’t start this thing up in three weeks.”

“These are radical times, and radical people do radical things, but either they’re keeping it really under wraps, or they’re not going to do it,” Pietrusza said. “Or they would be very ill-prepared.”

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James Coleman Battista, an associate professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, told the Washington Examiner that “it seems unlikely” that Ocasio-Cortez could defeat Schumer in a statewide primary due to his “well-established network of supporters and volunteers.”

“On the other hand, it was unlikely that she would defeat [former Rep. Joe] Crowley, and yet here we are,” Battista said about Ocasio-Cortez’s vanquished 2018 Democratic primary opponent, a House member for 20 years and a member of his party’s House leadership.

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Battista said Ocasio-Cortez’s “dense, very heavily Democratic district” that she currently represents, covering parts of the Bronx and Queens, “might be a better match for her, since a smaller cadre of very deep supporters can knock on a higher proportion of doors in her target areas, as opposed to the numbers you’d need to knock on doors in suburban or urban areas.”

“Another difference is that everyone knows she’s a credible threat, so it seems unlikely that Schumer would sleepwalk through the primary the way that Crowley did,” he added.

Pietrusza said that a primary challenge by Ocasio-Cortez might not ultimately raise her profile.

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