While Joe Biden is the clear polling frontrunner for the DNC nomination in the 2020 presidential race, he is unlikely to secure the coveted endorsement of media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
A study by Axios found that in Twitter world, AOC has more reach than any other top Democrat or establishment media.
Per the Guardian, At 29 years old, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – already known as “AOC” for short – is too young to be eligible to run for US president. But her phenomenal impact on American politics means that she could play an outsized role in deciding who does.
As her fellow Democrats jostle for position before the 2020 primary elections, an endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez is likely to be a widely coveted prize, a guaranteed shot of adrenaline sure to energise her army of millennial voters.
But it could also come with perils in the later presidential contest, especially for so-called “centrist” candidates hoping to draw independents and moderate Republicans away from Donald Trump.
In little more than a month, Ocasio-Cortez, whose New York district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, has taken Washington by storm, overshadowing career politicians who have spent years labouring in the 435-member House of Representatives. Her proposals – among them a Green New Deal to combat climate change and a 70% tax rate on earnings over $10m to tackle economic inequality – have reset terms of debate in the early stages of the Democratic contest.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive US congresswoman and social media sensation, has said she would be “hard pressed” to endorse the frontrunner, Joe Biden, in the Democratic presidential primary.
The statement is the latest sign of the left’s apathy towards the former vice-president, who has surged ahead of the Senator Bernie Sanders and other rivals in recent polls.
Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, appears to be the favourite to secure 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement but she said she was still some way off making a decision.
“I’m not close to an endorsement announcement any time soon,” she told the Guardian on Tuesday. “I’m still trying to get a handle on my job. It seems like ages but I’m just five months in and we have quite some time. The debates are in the summer and our first primary election for the entire country isn’t until next year.”
Asked if she would consider endorsing Biden, widely seen as a centrist, Ocasio-Cortez replied: “I’d be hard pressed to see that happen, to be honest, in a primary.”
Biden, comfortably leading every opinion poll, came under fire last week when Reuters reported he was pursuing a “middle ground” approach to the climate crisis. He later distanced himself from the implication.
Ocasio-Cortez criticised politicians seeking “a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives”. Sanders, running second in most polls, tweeted that there was “no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy”.
If and when Ocasio-Cortez does endorse a candidate, Sanders probably remains the favourite to secure her support. She was an organiser for his 2016 primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. The pair appeared at a rally in Washington last week to support the Green New Deal climate plan.