On the heels of last night’s contentious, not particularly satisfying fourth Democratic debate, three of the Democratic Party’s brightest stars—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib—are stepping forward to voice their support for Senator Bernie Sanders.
Minnesota congressional representative Omar, who worked with Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington on a bill to cancel student debt, announced her backing of Sanders’s candidacy on Tuesday, saying in a statement, “Bernie is leading a working-class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity, and geography.” Michigan congressional representative Rashida Tlaib has yet to make her support for Sanders explicit, but Omar noted in a tweet that Tlaib was “on board too”:
Ocasio-Cortez is reportedly expected to endorse Sanders this Saturday at his campaign rally in New York City; Ocasio-Cortez’s office hasn’t publicly confirmed this decision, but the Washington Post reports that there will be a “special guest” at the rally.
As of last week, Sanders was lagging significantly behind Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in the race to secure the Democratic nomination, polling at just 16% compared to Warren’s 23% and Biden’s 26%. Still, a vote of confidence from the Democratic congressional “Squad”—which includes Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib as well as Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—could help him gain an advantage with younger voters.
While Ocasio-Cortez’s unabashed socialism isn’t a hit with everyone, her influence on the Democratic party is hard to overstate; 34% of likely New Hampshire Democratic voters say they prefer Ocasio-Cortez to establishment leaders like Nancy Pelosi, the Boston Herald reports.
Sanders may hail from Pelosi’s generation, but his politics are much more in line with that of Ocasio-Cortez and her young supporters; the power of the Squad could be just what Sanders needs to become a front-runner.
Originally Appeared on Vogue