The upset win by Republicans across several statewide offices in Virginia earlier this month has prompted some introspection among Democratic Party leaders.
While many pundits have concluded that an embrace of a far-left agenda alienated many centrist Democrats and independents, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made it clear that she sees things differently.
“Our help and our participation was not wanted”
According to Fox News, she asserted in a recent interview that Democrats lost in Virginia because they had not moved far enough to the left.
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-styled democratic socialist, went on to imply that the outcome of those races would have been different in Virginia Democrats had not made the “mistake” of excluding her and other progressive figures from the campaign effort ahead of the off-year election.
Her remarks came during a wide-ranging interview published this week by The New York Times.
“Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for, which is fine,” she said. “I’m not here to tell people how to run their races.”
Nevertheless, Ocasio-Cortez concluded that it was “just sad” and “a mistake” for the party to treat “members here that have some of the tightest relationships to our political base as a uniform liability.”
“We were unwelcome to pitch in”
The New York Democrat went on to describe a “big youth turnout collapse” in terms of voters, alleging that she was not even allowed to send out a supportive email on behalf of Democrats in Virginia.
“And then they turn around and say, ‘It’s their fault,'” Ocasio-Cortez added. “When I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in.”
She opined that it was “ill-advised” to predetermine that young voters would stay at home “and essentially turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy” that might have cost failed Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe a win in the recent gubernatorial race.
The former governor sought another term in office and called on a number of heavy-hitters to campaign for him, including President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, and others.
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez took a critical stance on the topic shortly after the results were announced, stating that the outcome proved “the limits of trying to run a fully 100 percent super moderated campaign that does not excite, speak to, or energize a progressive base.”