J. Scott Applewhite/AP
- Self-reported Democratic primary voters polled by INSIDER say they value prominent progressive lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 endorsement the most out with the exception of former Democratic presidents.
- 25% said they valued Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement, the same percentage who said they valued 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s endorsement.
- A number of progressive senators running for president are clamoring for the opportunity to collaborate with Ocasio-Cortez on legislation and vying for her endorsement.
- "What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN in May.
- Ocasio-Cortez has collaborated with Sen. Bernie Sanders on a climate change resolution and legislation capping credit interest rates, shot a video with Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticizing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and is teaming up with Sen. Kamala Harris on a bill to reform federal public housing.
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Several Democratic presidential candidates are actively courting the support of progressive star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — and Democratic primary voters polled by INSIDER say they value her 2020 endorsement the most out of all non ex-Democratic presidents.
As part ouf our recurring 2020 primary polling with SurveyMonkey Audience, INSIDER polled 1,105 respondents from July 9 to July 10. Of those, 421 said they would likely participate in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus.
INSIDER asked those respondents "Setting aside those already running for the presidency, which of the following figures’ endorsement would you most value when it comes to the Democratic primary?" allowing respondents to select up to five figures.
- 70% of respondents said they valued former President Barack Obama’s endorsement.
- 28% valued former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement.
- 27% valued former President Jimmy Carter’s endorsement.
- 25% valued Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement.
- 24% valued former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s endorsement.
- 22% valued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement.
Ocasio-Cortez’s performance is well within the margin of error in this case, meaning that it’s entirely possible among the total population of Democratic primary voters that Pelosi and Clinton are more highly prized, and it’s also entirely possible the freshman congresswoman from New York’s support means more than Presidents Carter or Clinton. The takeaway is that this is now the company she keeps.
Other high performers among those asked include philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates (23%) and climate activist and former Vice President Al Gore (24%). There was then a considerable drop off, but other valued endorsements included:
- Former Secretary of State John Kerry (13%)
- Stacey Abrams, who was the Democratic nominee in a tough Georgia gubernatorial election (12%)
- Former Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice (8%)
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom (7%)
Although Ocasio-Cortez’s support is valued in league with presidents and former presidential nominees, she’s also handily surpassing fellow members of Congress and fellow New Yorkers with decades more political experience.
- New Yorker and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein both notched 7%.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pulled in 5%.
- Rep. Jim Clyburn, Rep. Steny Hoyer and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who all hold leadership positions within Congress, each fail to surpass 2%.
While former presidents and House Speakers typically don’t weigh in to take sides in partisan primaries, a number of senators running for president are clamoring for the opportunity to collaborate with Ocasio-Cortez on legislation to bolster their credentials among progressives, and get a shot at earning her endorsement.
While Ocasio-Cortez has said she isn’t planning on endorsing anyone in the primary for quite some time, she indicated that it may come down to either Sen. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a recent interview with CNN.
"What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward," she told CNN’s Ryan Nobles in May. "I think Sen. Sanders has that. I also think Sen. Warren has that."
Ocasio-Cortez has partnered with Sanders, who she affectionately nicknames "tío" or Uncle Bernie, on climate issues, holding town halls to promote her Green New Deal resolution and more recently, partnering on legislation to cap credit card interest rates and drawing up a resolution to declare a national emergency over climate change.
In April, Ocasio-Cortez had lunch in DC with Warren, with the two later teaming up to shoot a video sharply criticizing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin over his role in the demise of department store Sears — and joked about their disappointment over the series finale of "Game of Thrones."
On July 10, Sen. Kamala Harris — who has faced scrutiny over her record on criminal justice — announced that she and Ocasio-Cortez were collaborating on legislation to allow Americans with criminal records to apply for government-subsidized housing, and eliminate the so-called "no-fault eviction" rule, which allows the government to evict entire families if someone in the unit, including guests, commits a crime.
Warren also wrote a blurb about Ocasio-Cortez for TIME Magazine, which named the young lawmaker as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019.
"A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar," Warren wrote. "Today, millions are taking cues from her… she reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress…in our democracy, true power still rests with the people."
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income.The poll was conducted July 9-10, had a total of 1,105 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.15 percentage points with a 95% confidence level. See this page for more details about methodology.
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