It was an embarrassing moment for NY Rep. and de facto leader of the Democrats, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, when Queens District Attorney candidate Tiffany Cabán declared herself the winner of her race against Melinda Katz in June. AOC took a victory lap of her own, as she had backed and endorsed Cabán in the race.
“We meet a machine with a movement,” tweeted AOC in response to a tweet prematurely celebrating the election of a 31-year-old queer Latina.
We meet a machine with a movement. 💪🏽💜 https://t.co/8Z19Ej7S8p
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 26, 2019
Only Cabán didn’t win.
Cabán had counted her chickens before they hatched due to having a 1,100-vote lead that vanished, and was replaced by a 55-vote loss. According to the Daily Wire, Cabán was forced to concede defeat after she thought her victory was all but assured:
“The pitched seven-week battle for the Democratic nomination for Queens district attorney finally ended on Tuesday, when Tiffany Cabán, whose bid galvanized progressive activists nationwide and exposed deep rifts within the left, conceded to Melinda Katz, the favorite of the state party’s establishment,” The New York Times reported. “The result was a vindication for the Queens Democratic Party, which was left reeling last year after the defeat of former Representative Joseph Crowley by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”
“They said I didn’t look like a district attorney. They said I was too young. They said we could not build a movement from the grassroots. They said we could not win — but we did it, y’all,” the 31-year-old said back in June, claiming that she had won the race. “We built a campaign to reduce recidivism, decriminalize poverty, end mass incarceration, and to protect our immigrant communities. To keep people rooted in their communities with the access to support and services.”
While Cabán’s loss is mildly interesting, it’s not nearly as interesting as the fact that Ocasio-Cortez, arguably the most powerful person in the Democrat party, had backed a candidate that lost so spectacularly and watched a heavy lead become a loss.
It’s unclear whether or not this loss was a result of Cabán being among the same ideological makeup of AOC, or that Cabán lost out of the voters showing spite for AOC. It could be both of those things or none of them, but I suspect the answer lies somewhere nearby those ideas.
AOC is known as something of a “villain” within her district after she single-handedly ruined the Amazon deal with New York, which would have brought in 25,000 jobs. Even the majority of Democrats view her as the bad guy in this situation by 56 percent.
This could be the first sign that the power and popularity of AOC is fading, or at least, not as powerful as we all thought. More importantly, this could spell disaster for AOC’s reelection.
During the 2010 midterms, then-President Barack Obama’s popularity seemed untouchable as well, but he had the opposite of the Midas touch, as almost every candidate he backed rusted and crumbled instead of turning to gold. We might be witnessing the same thing happening with AOC.
If that is the case, then her days as an elected official are numbered. Time will tell, but if I was AOC, I’d be worried.