Ocasio-Cortez wants to abolish ICE

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Democrat who ousted incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, explains why she wants to abolish US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 5:55 PM
Updated: Jun 27, 2018 6:10 PM

Two high-profile congressional primaries in President Donald Trump's hometown illustrate a central political truth of 2018: The upcoming midterm elections will primarily be about Trump.

Republican candidates, including moderates, will have to cling to Trump or risk oblivion. And Democrats unwilling to shift left and launch harsh attacks on Trump should expect to come under fire from the party's fed-up liberal base.

It was only three weeks ago that current Rep. Dan Donovan, a moderate Republican in a seemingly safe seat, got the shock of his life. A NY1-Siena College poll revealed that Donovan was losing -- by 10 points -- to none other than Michael Grimm, a former congressman affiliated with the Tea Party who attempted a comeback after serving seven months in prison for tax fraud.

Despite his legal woes, Grimm, who described himself in an interview as "technically a felon," was still well-regarded among area Republicans, and had spent months attacking Donovan for voting against Trump's tax bill and for uttering heretical ideas about undocumented immigrants someday becoming citizens. Grimm declared himself an all-in Trump Republican, announcing support from ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and campaigning alongside former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

In normal times, Donovan might have simply waved off the challenge, pointing out that inflexibly hard-right politics don't fly in liberal New York City. But the age of Trump is not a normal time for Republicans.

Donovan, forced to tack to the right, began swearing allegiance to all things Trump. He stopped talking about paths to citizenship, began calling for a wall on the Mexico border and campaigned with Trump's lawyer, former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The rest is now history. Trump invited Donovan on a high-profile Air Force One trip, issued two tweets urging New York Republicans to stick with the incumbent and arranged a last-minute recorded endorsement by Donald Trump Jr. that was sent into 55,000 district households.

That was good enough to close the 10-point gap and yield a 30-point margin of victory — an incredible 40-point swing in just three weeks.

Donovan learned a lesson being repeated nationwide: Trump's sky-high 87% approval rating among Republicans means midterm GOP candidates need to stick with the President to survive their primaries.

The Trump Effect is playing out very differently in heavily Democratic districts. A few miles from Donovan's primary win, a charismatic 28-year-old community organizer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, successfully toppled a top national Democratic leader, US Rep. Joe Crowley, after charging him with being insufficiently bold about combating Trump and Trumpism.

"We're having a grass roots, corporate-free political revolution in the United States," Ocasio-Cortez told me a month before the primaries. "In 2018, it's not enough to just turn red districts blue. We need to turn blue districts bluer. If in a district that's 85% Democrat, if this seat hasn't been leading the charge on progressive issues, what's the point?"

Ocasio-Cortez is a former Bernie Sanders organizer who has been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America. She favors single-payer government health insurance, free college tuition for all and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

She also intends to push for the impeachment of Trump and has declined to support Nancy Pelosi to lead the Democratic conference.

That "aggressive progressive" posture and millennial energy helped Ocasio-Cortez pull off a stunning upset, soundly defeating 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, the No. 4 Democrat in the House hierarchy.

More than a dozen states have yet to hold primaries — including key battlegrounds like Colorado, Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin — and Trump will figure prominently in all of them. As in New York, we can expect Democrats to continue rapidly moving to the left while Trump consolidates his hold on the Republican Party.

The bottom line: The fall midterm elections will be a referendum on Trump, with an increasingly polarized electorate pushing members of Congress to either cling more closely to the president or fight more fiercely to block the administration.

There's a name for politicians who don't accept this new reality: they're called ex-members of Congress.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 770246

Reported Deaths: 8661
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1537491923
Ramsey63444980
Dakota57071526
Anoka54052520
Washington33690331
Stearns28419253
St. Louis23735361
Scott21652160
Wright21388171
Olmsted18144120
Sherburne15515115
Carver1366556
Clay1025399
Rice9985131
Blue Earth966659
Crow Wing9518109
Chisago837263
Kandiyohi835197
Otter Tail8061105
Benton7477111
Beltrami658079
Mower645541
Douglas629190
Goodhue619985
Itasca618885
Winona611854
McLeod595770
Steele585825
Isanti573074
Morrison557767
Becker534862
Polk512879
Freeborn487642
Nobles481652
Lyon456356
Carlton446866
Nicollet434454
Pine428532
Cass425745
Mille Lacs416967
Brown411547
Todd400036
Le Sueur386332
Meeker356854
Waseca327331
Martin326336
Wabasha29538
Hubbard292744
Dodge273510
Roseau265227
Fillmore243812
Redwood240443
Wadena238429
Houston231117
Renville228549
Faribault220630
Pennington217227
Sibley211612
Cottonwood197128
Kanabec192230
Chippewa190340
Aitkin184043
Watonwan171112
Pope16148
Yellow Medicine157220
Rock155319
Jackson147315
Koochiching138619
Clearwater136618
Murray135011
Swift134619
Marshall134520
Pipestone133427
Stevens124911
Lake109521
Wilkin102814
Lac qui Parle98524
Mahnomen90312
Norman8789
Big Stone7974
Grant7869
Lincoln7845
Kittson61122
Red Lake5899
Unassigned538124
Traverse5165
Lake of the Woods4764
Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk74657729
Linn29194394
Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
Wapello5936137
Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
Delaware258546
Cedar249526
Page249328
Wright243645
Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
Butler206638
Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
Lyon192941
Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
Calhoun186116
Appanoose180850
Shelby178439
Louisa171052
Grundy168537
Humboldt167727
Emmet167146
Franklin164628
Mitchell164043
Union162637
Chickasaw159318
Sac157924
Guthrie155434
Montgomery142342
Palo Alto142032
Clarke141328
Keokuk139635
Monroe134335
Howard128222
Ida118641
Greene116315
Davis115225
Lucas113724
Pocahontas111423
Monona108738
Worth10818
Adair105335
Osceola94017
Fremont86111
Van Buren84221
Decatur82612
Taylor79713
Wayne74824
Ringgold67727
Audubon66814
Adams5095
Unassigned380
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