Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a bad habit of using her identity as a Hispanic woman against her opponents whenever a debate rears its ugly head. She uses it so liberally that she even used the card on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a consistent user of the “woman” card.
AOC’s go-to isn’t going to work on her upcoming opponent for her seat, though. Her upcoming challenger is 38-year-old Scherie Murray, a black woman and Jamaican immigrant.
Oh, and she’s Republican.
Murray already launched an opening salvo against Ocasio-Cortez, and it’s brutal.
“There is a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC,” Murray told Fox News. “And instead of focusing on us, she’s focusing on being famous. Mainly rolling back progress and authoring the job-killing Green New Deal and killing the Amazon New York deal.”
She’s also already released an ad that holds up Ocasio-Cortez’s journey as a congresswoman into the light, and it doesn’t look pretty. Murray points to AOC’s behavior as “self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance.”
Murray’s video doesn’t mention Trump or even the Republican party, and if we’re being honest, that’s probably a smart move due to the fact that she’s running in Queens, which is bluer than a choking Smurf.
However, Murray may have a real chance. While it would be wrong to make identity a positive factor for a candidate, Murray’s identity as a black female immigrant does immediately strip AOC’s best weapons away from her. Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t been making a lot of friends in her own district, especially after celebrating the fact that she drove Amazon away from giving people in her district jobs.
In fact, two out of every three voters believes Ocasio-Cortez is the “villain” when it comes to driving Amazon away from providing 25,000 jobs in her district.
Does all this mean that Murray is a likely victor for the upcoming elections? No. The odds are still stacked against her. This district is solidly blue and has been since the early 90’s. As Nancy Pelosi recently noted, a glass of water with a D next to its name would win in districts like AOC’s.
But that’s not to say Murray is without hope. Ocasio-Cortez has made such a mess of things that a literal glass of water would probably look like a wiser choice. She has a popular Twitter following but recent polls show her more infamous than famous. Her favorability is in the trash.
With a solid campaign focused on bringing in jobs that Ocasio-Cortez pushed away and improving the lives of the citizens of Queens, Murray may just have a fighting chance. A better chance than many a Republican has had in the recent-ish past.
Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how AOC responds to the threat. My bet is that she’ll start out by ignoring Murray, and then when that doesn’t work due to all the news coverage Murray will likely get out of virtue of being AOC’s opponent, she’ll start playing victim cards. It won’t work very well in the face of Murray’s identity.
In any other district, Murray would be a clear bet to win. In this case, however, her primary opponent wouldn’t be AOC, it would be the district’s loyalty to Democrats.
It’ll be a hard fight to get to a Republican win, but stranger things have happened.