So Ocasio-Cortez’s victory needs to be assessed in a much larger context. First, all of the various power centers within the Democratic Party are winning their share of key primary races, reflecting the diverse nature of the Democratic Party. Second, none of the primary victories helps settle the argument over what ideological direction the Democratic Party should take in its post-Obama, post-Clinton future, because we don’t know how well its candidates will fare in the most competitive districts come November. And third, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign will have no bearing on that debate, because she is running in the 30th most Democratic district in the country, one that Hillary Clinton won by 58 points.
The shock of Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory has taken attention away from the rest of the results from Tuesday’s primaries. Corporate attorney Antonio Delgado emerged from a crowded field to earn the right to challenge Republican Rep. John Faso in New York’s swingier upstate 19th District. In Maryland’s rural-suburban 6th, millionaire wine mogul David Trone self-funded his way to a victory over an advocate for single-payer health insurance. And, in Colorado’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, another self-funder, Rep. Jared Polis, successfully beat back opposition from teachers unions that did not care for his background as a charter school entrepreneur.