U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pulled one of the biggest upset victories in the 2018 midterm election primaries unseating 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley. At the age of 29, she became the youngest woman ever to serve in the Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez’s energetic presence in the lower chamber may have generated an unprecedented amount of media and public attention, but it is the young representative’s social media activity — namely her tweets — that is the backbone of her ubiquitous media presence, according to a new analysis published by Axios.
According to the analysis, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “dominating” Twitter. In the last 30 days, her tweets have generated more interactions — likes and retweets — than the social network’s most prolific media organization. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is therefore more popular on Twitter than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC News, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Hill.
But it is not only news organizations that are trailing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when it comes to Twitter popularity. America’s youngest Congresswoman is the most popular politician on the network, bar President Donald Trump. Miles behind Ocasio-Cortez is former President Barack Obama. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer follow.
Explaining the phenomenon of Alexandria’s popularity, Ben Thompson, the founder of Stratechery, told Axios the following.
“In short, she is the first — but certainly not the last — of an entirely new archetype: a politician that is not only fueled by the Internet, but born of it.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a “harbinger of a new American political reality,” according to Silicon Valley writer Antonio García Martínez. According to the journalist, Ocasio-Cortez is “one answer to the bigger question of how social media impacts not just the portrayal of political power, but its seizure and exercise.”
The political establishment has not managed to remain immune to Ocasio-Cortez’s social media and other efforts. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have viciously attacked the congresswoman on numerous occasions.
On January 11, Politico released a report detailing the Democratic effort to “rein” the congresswoman in. Nearly 20 Democratic lawmakers and aides spoke to the outlet, arguing that Ocasio-Cortez is treating the Democratic Party as the enemy.
Exasperated Democrats are trying to rein in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezhttps://t.co/NrifqWoNDT
— POLITICO (@politico) January 11, 2019
Desperate to control her, House Democrats are embarking on an effort to direct Ocasio-Cortez’s anger toward the Republican Party, they claim.
“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” Missouri’s Emanuel Cleaver summarized the situation.
But as Politico notes, it is exactly Ocasio-Cortez’s fearless approach and the willingness to take on the party’s establishment that has earned her “icon status” on the progressive left. By taking on the Democratic establishment, the publication notes, the congresswoman is attempting to pull the Democratic Party to the left.