According to a report in Axios, “top Democrats” are expecting Ocasio-Cortez to build on the success of the small civil war she’s created between factions of the party and launch a campaign to primary one of New York’s two senators, either Sen. Chuck Schumer or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Schumer seems the more likely target, according to Axios’s sources, particularly given that he often falls on the “wrong” side of the battle between progressives and moderates. She’s also dealt more closely with Schumer, helping to dictate how the Senate handles policy initiated in the House by progressive legislators, including her own “Green New Deal,” which came up for a vote in the Senate and lost handily (even though AOC and her co-authors were adamant that a solution be enacted quickly).
Gillibrand, though, may be the weaker candidate, especially given her lackluster primary performance thus far, and will be up for re-election more in Ocasio-Cortez’s timeline: 2024, rather than 2022 for Schumer.
There are drawbacks. Even if Ocasio-Cortez is planning to move on to bigger and better things, she’ll need a base of support she currently lacks. National popularity is one thing, but a Senate run will require the attention of every voter in New York State, and Ocasio-Cortez is only popular with voters in and around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Those might be key constituencies for a Senate run, but they by no means guarantee a victory for a first timer. – read more