Ocasio-Cortez has social media meltdown after poll shows drop in her favorability numbers

March 17, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez has social media meltdown after poll shows drop in her favorability numbers

The more American voters get to know Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the more they grow to dislike the Democratic socialist from New York.

In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that AOC — as she is known in progressive circles — is currently more unpopular than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) was during the 2013 government shutdown over Obamacare funding.

Notorious AOC

That’s no small feat. Back in the fall of 2013, Cruz personally led a doomed crusade to defund the Affordable Care Act in a political maneuver that was seen as both impractical and destructive. Nearly two million federal government employees went without pay for 16 days, and Cruz caught flak from both liberal and conservative media for his misguided venture.

After Ocasio-Cortez obliterated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in a high-profile Democratic primary, she was catapulted to social media stardom. Just two months into her new job representing New York’s 14th District, and polls show that AOC has become a household name, with just 29 percent of respondents saying they have never heard of her.

Those numbers are unheard of for a freshman legislator. By comparison, 40 percent of Americans had no idea who Barack Obama was nearly two years after he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Ocasio Cortez currently enjoys greater name recognition than Chief Justice John Roberts and established Democratic presidential candidates like Sens. Cory Booker (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Amy Klobuchar (MN).

Yet, as voters become more familiar with Ocasio-Cortez’s far-left brand of politics, they find her increasingly off-putting. Shortly after her meteoric rise last fall, 24 percent of poll respondents had a favorable opinion of the congresswoman-elect, compared to 26 percent who held an unfavorable view.

While AOC’s favorability rating has increased to 31 percent since then, a jarring 41 percent of those polled now disapprove of the freshman representative. That’s a net favorability rating of negative ten percent, representing a 15-point swing since last September.

As expected, Ocasio-Cortez responded to the news surrounding her declining poll numbers by throwing a tantrum and blaming negative commentary on racism. She claimed that people “know more” about her because of around-the-clock news coverage from Fox News, which she called “AOC TMZ.”

The Cruz connection

Even Sen. Cruz, universally despised for his role in an unpopular government shutdown, was more likeable at the time than Ocasio-Cortez is now. A 2013 Gallup poll indicates that 36 percent of Americans maintained unfavorable views of the Texas Republican.

However, in an age of polarized politics, AOC’s increasing unpopularity doesn’t necessarily mean that her career is on the fritz. Cruz ended up surviving his shutdown controversy, and he would have been the 2016 Republican presidential candidate if he wasn’t defeated by Donald Trump — the least popular nominee of a political party ever polled (including candidates who went on to lose the general election).

“[W]e’re living in a moment in which polarizing figures commanding a passionate following can have tremendous influence, and even success,” explained Washington Examiner executive editor Philip Klein.

Although AOC may continue to turn off voters with her laughingstock environmental policies and her extreme economic proposals, she may go on to impress just enough progressive Democrats to remain politically solvent. What is increasingly clear, however, is that Democrats can finally put to bed the myth that Ocasio-Cortez is so “inspiring and so charismatic that grown men are crying.”

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Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Jewish News Syndicate.