Establishment Democrat Joe Crowley's nearly two-decade career in Congress came to an end Tuesday night in a shocking primary loss to 28-year-old Democratic Socialist and former Bernie Sanders organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - a harsh critic of Israel and immigration enforcement.
Victory! pic.twitter.com/il5677H0bh— Rebecca Katz (@RebeccaKKatz) June 27, 2018
Crowley - the 56-year-old Chairman of the House Democratic caucus had long been viewed as a potential House Speaker, and has been a staple in New York City politics as chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party.
His loss to insurgent candidate Ocasio-Cortez, his first primary challenge in 14 years, is a major upset to establishment Democrats trying to cobble together a "blue wave" of progressive support to combat Republicans in the upcoming midterms. Instead, it looks like Democrats are as fractured as ever.
There are a lot of reasons why @Ocasio2018's win (and Crowley's crushing loss despite the entire Democratic establishment united behind him) is so exciting and awesome. She's a genuinely great candidate for so many reasons. But this chart is simply huge for US politics: https://t.co/TTdM0SWUVI— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 27, 2018
I'm going to show you just who @Ocasio2018, Justice Democrats, and DSA beat tonight. it isn't @JoeCrowleyNY. It's the most powerful people in America. Here are Crowley donors Sheryl Sandberg, Sean Parker, Google NET Pac, and Facebook's PAC. pic.twitter.com/tqkKYhqSLm— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) June 27, 2018
Crowley donors who lost tonight, part II: Intel, American Bankers Association, Citigroup, UPS, T-Mobile, Altria (Phillip Morris), ERNST & YOUNG, Florida Sugar Cane, Boeing, Constellation Brands, Altice, The Options Clearinghouse, Diageo, Cisco Systems...— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) June 27, 2018
Crowley donors who lost tonight: Facebook, Google, Blackrock, Humana, Raytheon, Capitol One, AFLAC, Microsoft, CIGNA, TD Bank, H&R Block, Salesforce dot com, United Technology, Deloitte, Covington and Burling, Anheuser-Busch, Honeywell...— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) June 27, 2018
(there are eleven more tweets listing Crowley donors, so we'll stop here)
THE SAFE MONEY on a race in a machine-dominated district is to bet on the boss. And, to be sure, Crowley is likely to be the favorite. But Ocasio-Cortez has a few plausible reasons to believe there’s a path to victory:
She has more than 8,000 individual donors; that’s a pool she’ll continue to grow and can keep tapping into if her campaign gains momentum. It suggests that the 5,000+ signatures she turned in were no fluke.
Primaries are very low-turnout affairs, meaning the absolute number of votes she needs to win is quite low, in the high-four figures or low-five figures.
Crowley is the king of Queens, but he represents the Bronx from a distance. If Ocasio-Cortez can organize and run up her numbers in the Bronx, while holding her own in Queens, she can win.
The case against her isn’t based on substance, but on raw politics. Crowley is a very good old-school politician: engaging on the stump, charismatic, and diligent about building relationships. He has close relationships with the bosses of the Bronx machine, which can turn out votes. And, for many Democratic voters, he’s not that bad. -The Intercept
President Trump took the opportunity to throw salt in Crowley's wounds Tuesday night, tweeting: "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!"
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
Or, maybe Ocasio-Cortez schooling Crowley over ICE was the nail in the coffin in these politically charged times?
ICE is operating exactly as designed when it rips screaming children from parents. That’s exactly why we must abolish it.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 19, 2018
We MUST have the moral and political courage to #abolishICE.
Weak half-measures do nothing. This is a defining moment of our time - the time to act is now. pic.twitter.com/0viiQ4qdz8