CNN’s OutFront devoted a segment Thursday to something that should probably cause some concern among Democrats. Reporter Jason Carroll spoke to moderate Dems in Lucerne County, Pennsylvania, i.e. people who voted for Obama and then flipped and voted for Trump in 2016, who are not fans of the way the party has been trending lately. Specifically, they are not impressed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the new trendsetter for the party.
“I think she’s too bizarre,” Eileen Sorokas tells CNN.
“Too bizarre?” Carroll asks.
“Yes, yes, I think she’s ridiculous. Be more realistic, you know. We are people. We live on this planet. We want to survive,” Sorokas said.
Her husband Richard chimed in, “They want to get all this environment projects done in 10 years and it’s impossible. You’ll lose jobs. You’ll lose wages.”
Another moderate voter, Paul Visoky, tells CNN, “They’re more liberal. They’re attempting to be socialists.”
Former Governor Ed Rendell says winning back the purple states Trump turned red in 2016 means reclaiming the center not appealing to the far left. “I think all of a sudden the 2020 election went from a slam dunk for Democrats to something where we’re going to have trouble beating this guy because he’s going to make Democratic Socialism swing to the left, which I don’t think is real, but he’s going to make it into the issue,” Rendell said. He added, “AOC does not speak for the Democratic Party.”
Is Rendell right about that? It’s true she’s only a freshman congressperson. On the other hand, she’s on the cover of Time this week, has millions of Twitter followers and is setting the agenda for the entire Democratic field with her Green New Deal. She may not officially speak for the party, but she’s clearly one of the most powerful voices in the party at this moment.
There is a caveat at the end of this segment. The voters CNN spoke to aren’t impressed with any of the current crop of Democratic candidates but that might change if Biden were to finally get off the fence. Of course, that assumes that Biden doesn’t join the rest of the crowd following AOC to the far left.
One final point worth noting. Jason Caroll says he was reporting another story in the area when he came across these people. He didn’t go to them to ask for their take on AOC, they came to him to talk about it “totally unsolicited.” So anyone hoping that CNN somehow got this reaction by trolling for it is whistling past the graveyard. This is something these people were thinking on their own before CNN ever showed up. And if these moderates in PA are thinking it, there are probably a lot more like them who are thinking it in other states as well.