Saturday, August 27, 2022

AOC and her progressive comrades lost big in primaries

 They didn’t get high Marx.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad” of left-wing allies will return to Congress as mere “annoyances” next year, with both their size and clout diminished in the wake of Primary Day, pundits told The Post.

“The policies that The Squad stood for were never popular and the candidates who tried to mirror those policies are finding themselves out of Congress,” said a senior Democratic Capitol Hill insider, who believes the group will become little more than “gadflies” in a Republican-controlled house come November.

The far-left Dems — who cheered defunding the police during the George Floyd riots — suffered blows on multiple fronts.

The biggest loser was AOC comrade Rep. Mondaire Jones, who was forced by redistricting to abandon his home base in Westchester County to avoid a fight with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the powerful boss of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Jones instead chose to run a carpetbagger campaign in Manhattan and Park Slope — only to lose to Dan Goldman by about 5,000 votes. Goldman, a Levi Strauss heir, prosecuted President Trump during his first impeachment trial.

“Dan won Manhattan very, very handily, which shows there are still a lot of moderate votes south of 14th Street,” said Chris Coffey, CEO of Tusk Strategies.

Jones almost certainly siphoned off votes from state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou — another rising far-leftist who saw her fortunes derailed, coming up 1,300 votes short of winning.

For his part, Maloney handily knocked out state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi in their upstate district. The progressive state senator had been endorsed by AOC.

The twin moderate victories also mean the two women will be leaving their positions in Albany as neither pursued their former legislative positions.

In Staten Island, former Congressman Max Rose also put away socialist stripper Brittany Ramos DeBarros in the Democratic primary there. The centrist Dem will face a much tougher fight reclaiming his old seat from Republican incumbent Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who ousted him in 2020.

The New York results mirror House races around the country where moderates flexed their muscle against insurgent candidates. In May, Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) defeated Nina Turner for a second time in a closely watched race that received national attention. Turner had the backing of AOC, while Hillary Clinton had previously thrown her weight behind Brown.

Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) — the only pro-life Democrat in the house — put away Jessica Cisneros, another AOC-backed rising star. Former Rep. Donna Edwards also went down to a landslide defeat against Glenn Ivey in Maryland. Ivey had been the preferred choice of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — a progressive bête noire — which spent millions on the race.

“What’s going on is simply that people who vote, the Democrats who actually vote, are significantly more pragmatic than the Democrats who talk,” said longtime Democratic strategist James Carville. “I don’t know how many times that voters have to tell these people who they are. You would have thought they learned their lesson in the 2020 presidential primaries.”

Socialists fared better at the state level.

Kristen Gonzalez — who works as a product manager for American Express — captured a new state Senate seat covering parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and has large Spanish-speaking enclaves like Sunset Park. Gonzalez was backed by most of the city’s blue-chip progressives including Ocasio-Cortez. She will be the third socialist senator in Albany — joining Sens. Jabari Brisport and Julia Salazar.

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