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'No Democrat or Republican Can Rest Easy': What This Huge Political Upset Means For the Midterms

06-28-2018
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WASHINGTON – Primary season is well underway, but after a stunning upset in New York's 14th District this week, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein tells CBN News, "No Democrat or Republican incumbent can rest easy." 

On Tuesday, 28-year-old socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat one of the most powerful lawmakers in Congress, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), a man many thought would be the next speaker of the House.

"This was the upset of the year and a really big deal that I think sent shock waves throughout the Democratic Party and frankly the Republican Party as well," Klein told CBN News' Jenna Browder, adding that Ocasio-Cortez's win likely won't cost Democrats the seat, but it could hurt them with messaging.

"Republicans are going to be making the argument, 'Look, they're the party of open borders. They're the party of rampant runaway crime, legalizing drugs,' and if they have examples to point to, whether it's in New York or elsewhere, they're going to jump on that," he said.  

Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders organizer, calls herself a democratic socialist. She has proposed eliminating ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, and if she wins in November, she'll be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  

President Donald Trump reacted to the upset on Twitter.

"Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi's place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he's out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!" he tweeted.

The president, who hasn't wasted any time hitting the campaign trail for GOP candidates, was out stumping Wednesday night in North Dakota for Senate candidate Kevin Cramer.

Earlier in the week, he was in South Carolina to support incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster. Both McMaster and Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), also backed by Trump, won their races. 

"Trump owns the Republican Party and I think it becomes evident with each passing primary that he has the potential to sway voters," Klein told CBN News. 

In Utah, Mitt Romney soared to victory, too.

"He's going to be an interesting guy to watch because of his national platform, notoriety, the name recognition," said Klein. 

If there's one big takeaway from this week's elections, Klein said it's that New York's 14th District race should be a wakeup call to all incumbent candidates. 

 "It's late in the primary season, but no Democrat or Republican incumbent can rest easy," he warned.

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