Democratic rift: Grassroots liberals rally around identity politics in midterm campaigns

by
August 6, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The liberal push to remake the Democratic Party into a more progressive and diverse political organization will be tested this week in Michigan, where a coalition of grassroots groups has unified behind Abdul El-Sayed’s underdog quest to become the nation’s first Muslim governor.

Mr. El-Sayed is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Stacey Abrams, who became the first black female nominee for governor in Georgia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is well-positioned to become the first Hispanic to represent the 14th Congressional District in New York after stunning the political world with a victory over Rep. Joseph Crowley.

“Everyone in the progressive grassroots is lined up behind Abdul,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America.

The 33-year-old’s bid also is more evidence of how November’s elections are shaping up as a major test of identity politics as liberal activists rally behind black, Hispanic, female and other candidates who are putting a greater emphasis on reaching out to marginalized communities rather than focusing on winning over President Trump’s supporters.

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