Ocasio-Cortez: ‘A lot of districts’ are like mine

Newly minted Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she believes there are districts across the country primed for the kind of candidacy she represents.

“There are a lot of districts in this country that are like New York 14,” Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Ocasio-Cortez stunned many when she defeated New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley on Tuesday following a campaign in which she espoused a series of unabashedly left-wing policy priorities.

Speaking on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez said while she believes her success can be mirrored in other districts, there is room in the party for candidates less left-wing than herself.

“Democrats are a big tent party,” she said. “You know, I’m not trying to impose an ideology on all several hundred members of Congress. But I do think that, once again, it’s not about selling an -ism, or an ideology, or a label or a color. This is about selling our values.”

Ocasio-Cortez has drawn particular attention for her embrace of democratic socialism, which she said means to her that “in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no American should be too poor to live.”

But Ocasio-Cortez said the label of democratic socialism did not represent her fully.

“It’s part of what I am,” she said. “It’s not all of what I am.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments came in contrast to some other members of the Democratic Party, who have suggested her victory is not necessarily indicative of a national trend.

Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday if Ocasio-Cortez’s upset and progressive platform are the future of the Democratic Party, Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth responded, “I think it’s the future of the party in the Bronx, where she is.”

“She did the hard work,” Duckworth continued. “She pounded the pavement, and she was out there talking to every one of her constituents. And I think that was the difference.”

At the same time, Duckworth said she believed if candidates “go too far to the left,” they would lose in the Midwest.

“Coming from a Midwestern state, I think you need to be able to talk to the industrial Midwest,” Duckworth said. “You need to listen to the people there in order to win an election nationwide.”