- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Democrats lost seats in the Senate and House because of a lack of online advertising, including on Facebook.
- “If you’re not spending $200,000 on Facebook with fund-raising, persuasion, volunteer recruitment, get-out-the-vote the week before the election, you are not firing on all cylinders,” she told the New York Times. “And not a single one of these campaigns were firing on all cylinders.”
- The comments come as Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives field blame from centrist Democrats who say their causes and messaging caused the party to lose seats in the House and Senate.
- Ocasio-Cortez pushed back and said the upset was instead due to a lack of a robust digital ad campaigns. She said in a tweet last week that some campaigns spent $0 on digital advertising the week before the election.
- Democrats maintain control of the House, but they lost a number of incumbent congresspeople in the 2020 election, and control of the Senate hinges on Georgia’s two runoff elections in January.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times in an interview that the reason Democrats lost seats in the Senate and the House is that they didn’t invest as much in digital advertising as Republican candidates did.
The congresswoman told the Times that “if you’re not spending $200,000 on Facebook with fund-raising, persuasion, volunteer recruitment, get-out-the-vote the week before the election, you are not firing on all cylinders. And not a single one of these campaigns were firing on all cylinders.”
She said Democratic candidates were “sitting ducks” while Republicans were more actively campaigning online and were vulnerable because “they weren’t even on the mediums where these messages were most potent.”
“Our party isn’t even online, not in a real way that exhibits competence,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Times.
AOC’s comments come after the Democratic Party lost a number of seats in the House and the Senate in the 2020 election. However, Democrats will maintain control of the House, and control of the Senate hinges on Georgia’s two runoff elections in January.
As Ocasio-Cortez mentions to the Times, some centrists in the Democratic Party have pinned the blame of the lost Senate seats on progressives for supporting policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and movements like Black Lives Matter. House majority leader Rep. Jim Clyburn said on Sunday that Democrats lost seats in Congress in part because of South Carolina Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison’s call to “defund the police.”
Ocasio-Cortez has pushed back, saying Democrats have instead lost seats because of the lack of digital advertising. Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet last week that some campaigns spent $0 on digital advertising the week before the election.
“If I spent only $12k on TV the week before an election & then blamed others after, you’d ask questions,” the congresswoman tweeted last week. “That’s how it looks seeing this.”
Ocasio-Cortez said in the same interview with the Times that the hostility she has faced from her own party due to progressive causes has made her question her future in politics.
“I don’t even know if I want to be in politics,” she told the outlet.