New York Democratic party chairman issued a strong warning to progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) not to launch a 2022 Democratic primary challenge against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, saying the sophomore lawmaker would “absolutely” lose if she dares goes head-to-head with the powerful New York lawmaker.
“I think it would be a primary driven by ambition more than by need,” Jay Jacobs, the chairman of New York State’s Democratic Committee told The New York Post over the weekend.
“Chuck Schumer has been a progressive force in the state for decades,” the party chairman continued, defending the Senate Minority Leader. “She has a constituency that admires her and supports her, and they’re in her community, and I think it would be a loss for them if she were to do that.”
And he would beat her, he added.
The New York Democrats leader noted he has yet to meet the young progressive lawmaker who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens.
“We’ve never met. I would look forward to doing that,” he said. “I am open to that at any time.”
Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t directly expressed any public indications to challenge Schumer. However, she also has done nothing to quash speculation, leaving the door open to the potential Democratic primary challenge in 2022.
New York magazine ran a profile of Ocasio-Cortez earlier in January that quoted people close to her as saying she was considering a primary against either Schumer in 2022 or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2024.
In an interview with Politico’s Playbook in April, Ocasio-Cortez when asked if she would consider a race against
“I’m very much focused on my election in 2020, and honestly this news cycle is so insane, who knows where any of us are going to be in 2022?”
When pushed to give a clearer answer if she’d rule out a run against the most powerful Democrat in the U.S. Senate in 2022, she replied: “I literally don’t even think about this in any serious way so, like, I don’t know.”
Schumer is considered one of the most influential and powerful politicians in Washington. He’s been in elected office since 1975, first locally as a New York State assemblyman, and then in 1981, he ran for an open House seat and won. After 18 years in Congress, Schumer ran for Senate in 1998 and defeated three-term incumbent Republican Al D’Amato.
The only poll conducted on such a hypothetical match-up between Ocasio-Cortez vs. Schumer was conducted back in May by Zogby Analytics that found the Senate Minority leader with a 31-point lead from the small sample size.
Earlier this year, President Trump contributed to the rumor mill, telling reporters on the record that he predicts Ocasio-Cortez would challenge Schumer for his seat and will “kick his ass” in a possible Democratic primary.
“[Trump] then put on the record that he thinks that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is going to run against Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate, and ‘I think she is going to kick his ass,’ that is the quote on the record,” Fox News Bret Baier, who attended the private luncheon off-the-record reporters ahead of Trump’s State of the Union Address back in February recounted the president remarks.
In an October interview with Vanity Fair, Ocasio-Cortez suggested that her ambitions extend beyond representing her district in Congress.
“I don’t know if I’m really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like. I don’t see myself really staying where I’m at for the rest of my life,” Ocasio-Cortez told Vanity Fair.
She continued: “I don’t want to aspire to a quote-unquote higher position just for the sake of that title or just for the sake of having a different or higher position. I truly make an assessment to see if I can be more effective.”
In recent comments made earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez argued that Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should no longer lead Democrats in Congress, reigniting the rumors in suggesting that the progressive firebrand might pursue the 2022 primary challenge.
“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party. … The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there’s very little option for succession,” she said in a December interview with The Intercept’s podcast. “It’s easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, well, you know, why don’t you run?’ but the House is extraordinarily complex, and I’m not ready. It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”
Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to enter Congress at age 29 after she stunned the political world in defeating one of the most powerful Democrat who held that seat for 18 years and was viewed as the possible future speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) two years ago in the Democratic primary.
While Ocasio-Cortez might be one of the stars on the left, nearly 60 percent of the country thinks poorly of Progressive darling and 75 percent want nothing to do with the socialism she preaches.
“Interestingly, most likely voters also have a decidedly negative view of one of America’s most prominent socialists, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat,” the Heartland Institute/Rasmussen poll analysis said.
The survey polled 1,000 likely voters between Dec. 6 and 7 found 58% had an unfavorable impression of Ocasio-Cortez while 37% said their impression was favorable and 15% were not sure.