Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) lamented former Vice President Joe Biden’s wins on Super Tuesday II. AOC, who has endorsed and campaigned for Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-USSR), chocked her candidate’s pivotal loss in Michigan up to a “generational divide” and suggested she was pained by the results.
“There’s no sugarcoating it. Tonight is a tough night,” AOC said in an Instagram Live video. “Tonight’s a tough night electorally.”
"There's no sugar-coating it. Tonight's a tough night. Tonight's a tough night electorally," @AOC says in her Instagram live chat.
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) March 11, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez zeroed in on the age gap between supporters of Bernie and Biden. “Older voters, which we know are more reliable voters, which we know turn out, have decisively gone to former Vice President Biden,” she said. “There’s a generational divide within the Democratic Party on health care, on climate change, on foreign policy, pretty much every policy imaginable. As a younger person in this movement, I take a lot of that as information for how we navigate the next decade.”
On Tuesday, Biden racked up wins in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri. Bernie won North Dakota and as of Wednesday morning, Washington State — considered safe Bernie territory — was too close to call. The victory in Michigan proved particularly noteworthy since Sanders’s campaign largely hinged on winning the state — and the Wolverine State had given Bernie an upset win against Hillary Clinton in 2016. With Michigan, Biden became the presumptive nominee. While it is still mathematically possible for Sanders to defeat him in the primary, Bernie does not have a clear path to victory.
This loss may have effectively doomed AOC’s preferred candidate, but Ocasio-Cortez encouraged her supporters to fight “cynicism” and to take hope that her radical ideas on Medicare for All and the Green New Deal are gaining traction in the Democratic Party.
Indeed, while Biden is the presumptive nominee, he has endorsed radical policies thanks to the influence of Sanders and others. The so-called moderates may find his ideas alienating more and more people come November. Then things might get really “tough” for AOC.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.