Bernie Sanders surrogate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told her Instagram followers that there was “no sugarcoating it” following another strong election night for Joe Biden Tuesday, with the former vice president racking up wins in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho.
Tuesday's results put Biden firmly in the driver's seat in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and cloud Sanders' potential path to a majority of pledged delegates, or even an opportunity to force a contested convention. The Democratic party has largely chosen Biden and his incremental progressivism over Sanders and his democratic socialist movement, which Ocasio-Cortez proudly considers herself a member of.
“There's no sugarcoating it, tonight's a tough night,” she said in an Instagram Live video. “Tonight's a tough night for the movement overall.”
The freshman lawmaker then dove into the exit poll data that many news networks were reporting regarding the age of the voters who put Biden over the top Tuesday.
“If you are looking a little bit deeper beyond the polls in terms of what this means for the movement at large, I think there's a lot of information that we have here that we can kind of glean from,” she said. “One thing that's important in these results — and this is something that I've been sensing a lot in my time here — is the generational divide in these results.
“Older voters,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, “which we know are much more reliable voters, which turn out, have decisively gone to former Vice President Biden.”
In Michigan, a state which Sanders won in 2016 to extend his campaign against Hillary Clinton, just 13 percent of total voters were between 18 and 29 years old, according to a Fox News Voter Analysis. Of those young voters, 65 percent cast their ballots for Sanders.
Voters older than 65 years old, however, made up 30 percent of the electorate and voted for Biden at a 71 percent clip. Voters between ages 45 and 64 made up the largest age group voting in Michigan at 34 percent, and they backed Biden at double the rate they supported Sanders — 60 percent to 30 percent.
“If you win a race, you win a race,” the congresswoman said, conceding that Biden had clearly come out ahead Tuesday night, “and I congratulate Vice President Biden on the states he won this evening.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued, reflecting on the age gap among Democratic voters: “What is surprising is how stark it actually is. We're not talking about a generational bump or a little bit of an edge. It is decisively different.”
While Ocasio-Cortez has made clear that she will support Biden if he eventually does secure the Democratic presidential nomination, she said in her video that she is most concerned about the government taking swift action to stop climate change, no matter who is president.
“One thing that I am concerned about … is in our climate. I'm legitimately concerned about what this means for carbon emissions… There are many many issues where peoples' lives are on the line,” she said, listing a variety of issues including criminal justice reform and abortion. “But the scale and the feedback and the irreversible nature of climate change is something that we all really need to pay close attention to.”
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