Election 2020

De Blasio: Progressive Wave Is Just Dems 'Acting Like Real Democrats'

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announces plans to redesign four Brooklyn Precincts on Aug. 23, 2018, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. (mpi43/MediaPunch/IPX)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said of his party’s midterm direction — including primary wins for some progressive candidates who weren’t backed by the Dem establishment — that “what Democrats are doing this year are more and more is acting like real Democrats.”

De Blasio said that was behind Andrew Gillum’s surprise win for the gubernatorial nomination in Florida and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s House primary win.

“I think you see something happening all over the country, and the reason I say that is I think that is the pertinent reality is what’s going to move people in their hearts emotionally to come out and vote,” de Blasio told MSNBC this morning. “That energy is on the Democratic and on the progressive side right now, and that’s what I think can’t be tracked. You know, polling’s not picking it up; the reality of turnout is something that is beyond the reach of traditional polling to analyze.”

“And we keep getting surprised, we keep seeing things happen that were not predicted and I think you’re going to see a lot more of that in November. You certainly saw it last November, Virginia is a great example in the House of Delegates,” he added. “This is going to be an extraordinary change election, in my view, and things are happening in the grassroots that none of the experts know the pundits can possibly see.”

The mayor argued that “the change is happening, it’s profound… you can see that when the progressive candidate does get the Democratic nomination, the kind of energy it can create among a whole swath — electric — including younger voters, who we must get involved.”

“And that’s a bipartisan statement, but I’ll speak as a progressive and as a Democrat — younger voters are going to be the difference-makers. We’ve seen it all ready, we saw it Nov ’17, how a lot of younger voters engaged in states including Virginia … choosing to run to is another big ‘x’ factor, more and more younger candidates,” de Blasio continued.

Still, de Blasio has not yet made an endorsement for progressive challenger Cynthia Nixon over New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“But I want to say there’s no question in my mind Cynthia Nixon is an extraordinary human being, an activist who’s made a huge impact, particularly in terms of education and fairness for our children,” he added after saying he’s still reviewing any potential endorsement.

He branded some of Cuomo’s counterpoints in Wednesday night’s debate “a littler desperate, honestly.”

“This race is unpredictable here in New York,” de Blasio said. “There’s a lot going on the ground and there’s a lot of people who are thinking very independently, and anyone who thinks that they know where this is going is not watching what is happening in current politics.”