“Anything that indicates AOC is vulnerable would be godsend to people who don’t like her or are upset about the Amazon loss of 27,000 jobs in New York,” said veteran Democratic party strategist Hank Sheinkopf, warning: “Politics are unstable across the nation. Things are happening that we haven’t seen or thought about before.”

Strategically speaking, a challenge to one of the most influential voices on the American left also could affect candidates in other, more marginal races. Within New York City, more than three dozen candidates promoting progressive, generational change are taking on congressional incumbents.

In her own district, enthusiasm among supporters for Ocasio-Cortez is unwavering. The Working Families party “knows Ocasio-Cortez will beat any challengers who might arise because she’s fighting tirelessly for her district and her agenda speaks to the people of Queens and the Bronx”, the group said in a statement to the Guardian.

But the Ocasio-Cortez campaign also knows that opposition to her remains deep within the Democratic party establishment.