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

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Confirmed Cases: 22464

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7540565
Ramsey2610103
Stearns198412
Nobles14883
Anoka126259
Dakota118244
Olmsted57510
Washington56230
Kandiyohi4751
Rice4112
Clay40625
Scott3792
Todd2960
Wright2691
Sherburne2192
Mower2161
Carver1852
Benton1692
Steele1480
Martin1265
Blue Earth1221
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Freeborn970
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Nicollet747
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Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
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Renville50
Mahnomen51
Red Lake40
Traverse30
Big Stone30
Clearwater30
Redwood30
Grant30
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Houston20
Lake10
Hubbard10
Roseau10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 18342

Reported Deaths: 496
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3876115
Woodbury265831
Black Hawk171343
Linn93876
Marshall87815
Dallas87317
Buena Vista6820
Johnson6058
Muscatine54741
Wapello5384
Crawford4882
Tama40026
Scott34610
Louisa33610
Dubuque33016
Jasper25716
Pottawattamie2277
Sioux2100
Washington1858
Wright1240
Allamakee1194
Plymouth1191
Warren1140
Story961
Poweshiek888
Mahaska888
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines581
Boone560
Taylor480
Cedar461
Guthrie443
Clarke400
Benton391
Jones360
Iowa360
Monroe354
Shelby350
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Osceola310
Marion300
Webster291
Hamilton280
Madison261
Fayette260
Monona240
Lee230
Cherokee230
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Davis200
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Lyon190
Grundy190
Floyd181
Sac170
Mills160
Hardin150
Butler150
Delaware150
Humboldt140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Hancock140
Appanoose133
Jackson130
Dickinson130
Clay130
Greene130
Howard120
Audubon121
Winnebago110
Cass110
Page100
Van Buren90
Franklin90
Carroll90
Pocahontas90
Chickasaw80
Emmet80
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Kossuth80
Adair70
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