AOC builds political army, and a fundraising machine to match

Just two years after she pulled off a stunning upset over a veteran lawmaker, Ocasio-Cortez has become a magnet for small-dollar donors. She has raised more than $10.5 million, about 80 percent of which came from donors giving under $200, the FEC reports show.

That mammoth haul makes her the fifth-most prodigious fundraiser of the cycle so far, behind only House GOP whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)…

Her spending hints that Ocasio-Cortez is working to build an even more robust fundraising operation. She has spent almost $1.2 million on Facebook ads that target viewers around the country, ads likely meant to recruit more donors. And she has spent half a million dollars renting email lists and advertising at a Washington-based consulting firm.

Paul Herrnson, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut who studies campaign finance and congressional elections, said $6 million is “quite a bit for a person in a safe district to spend.”