- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has emerged as the co-favorite — alongside Joe Biden — to be the Democratic Party nominee in 2024
- If nominated, the congresswoman would be the youngest major-party candidate in history at 34
- Current Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris is the third-favorite at +350 odds
In a very short time, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a very big political rock star. The first-term congresswoman serving the 14th District of New York became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress when she was elected in 2018.
Known by her initials — AOC — she has a large social-media following and has become one of the loudest voices on the progressive side of the Democratic Party. Now, Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as a co-favorite to earn her party’s presidential nomination in 2024.
2024 Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Odds
Odds as of Aug. 24, 2020.
Even though she’s quickly become a household name due to her dynamic rise on the national scene, Ocasio-Cortez’s legitimacy as the Democratic Party’s nominee in just four years seems premature. Couple that with a possible — perhaps even probable — win by the Biden/Harris ticket to capture the White House in November and her realistic chances get that much longer.
On the other hand, when you look at the 2020 election odds, a victory by Biden is certainly no guarantee. While most national polls have the former Vice President winning in comfortable fashion, we need look no further than the presidential election four years ago to see there are no “locks” in elections, no matter what the polls say. Hillary Clinton saw similar polling numbers to Biden — only to lose in the Electoral College.
In some ways, it would seem a bet on AOC in 2024 is a bet against Biden/Harris in November and the Democratic Party completely shaking things up after a potential two-term Trump Administration.
So, does the former waitress/bartender have a legit shot at earning her party’s nomination? Let’s handicap AOC’s 2024 odds.
On the Come
A possible AOC nomination in 2024 would be similar to the nominations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. That’s to say both Clinton (in 1992) and Obama (in 2008) were once considered outsiders, underdogs and not-quite-ready-for-prime-time before their successful presidential campaigns.
Clinton was the governor of a small Southern state with a checkered personal past. Obama was a first-term Senator from a Midwest state known primarily as a community activist.
But one thing the eventual 42nd and 44th Presidents had in common — and a trait Ocasio-Cortez shares — is the “it” factor. All three are charismatic personalities and articulate speakers. Their ability to captivate younger voting blocs is something that should not be taken lightly.
When AOC took down 10-time incumbent and Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in the June 2018 primary, it was one of the biggest upsets in recent memory — and a rather large statement that she was a force to be reckoned with moving forward.
And let’s not forget the way she took fellow Congress member Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) to task last month for his alleged verbal abuse toward her.
Like Clinton and Obama, AOC is a rising star — and someone whom the party would want to hitch its wagon to.
Is It Too Soon?
While there’s no doubt AOC could be a major player in Washington for decades to come, 2024 may be too early for her to ascend all the way to the party’s nomination. From a historical perspective, William Jennings Bryan is the current titleholder as youngest candidate on a major-party ticket. “The Great Commoner” was 36 when he was the Democratic nominee who lost to William McKinley in 1896 presidential election.
So, AOC would be bucking over 125 years of history to earn the nomination. As great as her pedigree is, she’s not nearly as accomplished as Jennings Bryan was.
When it comes to possible female nominees of color, there’s one obvious person in front Ocasio-Cortez right now.
In Kamala We Trust
Just outside Biden and AOC at +300 is Kamala Harris at +350. If there’s anyone that could be the Democratic candidate in four years — outside of her current running mate — it’s the junior Senator from California.
She’s more experienced than AOC– having served as the largest state in the union’s Attorney General for six years — and has already ran a presidential campaign. In this current era of fighting for equality and social justice, it would seem the party would go in the direction of someone a bit more polished that the young congresswoman from New York.
While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is undoubtedly a player in the party, she’s just not there yet. But come 2032? We’ll wait and see …