Is AOC up for re-election in the midterms?
The New York Congresswoman has been at the forefront of a national effort to encourage young people to vote in the upcoming midterms.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress in 2018 when she beat Republican nominee Anthony Pappas in the November general election. She was re-elected in 2020 and earlier this year she won the nomination of the Democratic Party once again, unopposed.
The House of Representatives employs a system of biennial elections, meaning that all members serve two-year legislative terms before their place is put to a vote again. Congresswoman AOC will face Republican Tina Forte in the 2022 midterm elections.
AOC has held the seat for New York’s 14th Congressional District since 2018 and is the odds-on favourite to remain in the post after the November elections. However her opponent, fellow Bronx native Forte, has gone on the offensive after beating Desi Joseph Cuellar in the GOP primary.
“New Yorkers will no longer accept high taxes, rising crime, bad schools, and infringements on our freedom,” Forte wrote on Twitter. “AOC has supported the same radical policies ruining New York. Enough is enough.”
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’ high-profile status makes her a near-cert to retain the seat in a majority-blue state. In the most recent general election, 2020, AOC received more than 75% of the vote in the Democratic primaries and defeated Republican opponent John Cumming in a 71%-27% landslide.
AOC encourages young voters to get out and vote
As well as conducting her own campaign in the build up to the November midterms, AOC has been at the forefront of the movement to get more young people registered to vote.
In the 2020 presidential elections younger groups were once again the least likely to vote, with older voters most inclined to exercise their democratic right. Just 51.4% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in 2020, compared to 76.0% of 65- to 74-year-olds.
On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez travelled to UC Irvine to encourage young voters to make their voices heard in the upcoming midterm elections. The event attracted huge numbers of sympathetic students and local residents, as well as a non-inconsiderable number of counter-protestors.
“UC Irvine, I need you to vote,” Ocasio-Cortez told the gathered crowds. “We have to be sure that we turn out every soul to the polls this election.”
She attended the event in collaboration with the Sunrise Movement, an advocacy group that advocates for climate change action.