St. Louis Delivers Clear Referendum On Ocasio-Cortez’s Democratic Socialism

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Missouri’s 1st Congressional District delivered a referendum on democratic socialism in the Midwest on Tuesday — in spite of the influence of New York’s democratic socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Brand New Congress, a PAC started by former staffers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic primary, which pitted Ferguson activist and registered nurse Cori Bush against seven term incumbent William “Lacy” Clay Jr, resulted in a solid victory for Clay — who won over 50 percent of the vote. Bush received a little over half of that.

In the lead-up to Tuesday’s primary, following her own upset win in New York’s 14th District, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to St. Louis to campaign for Bush, claiming from the stage that the democratic socialist movement “knew no zip code.” Just one day earlier in Kansas City, both Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders had cheered the Midwest’s warm welcome, noting that Democratic Socialism wasn’t as taboo a subject in the Midwest as some might expect. But as local radio host Annie Frey noted on her radio show, people in the Midwest typically offer a warm welcome to everyone.

Even as the election returns began to post, some were questioning whether Democratic socialism would resonate in Missouri in the same way that it had in New York.

But while Bush did make an impressive showing — earning just over one third of the vote — if Missouri’s primary is any indication, the far left’s message is not resonating in the Midwest as well as some might think.

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