Before we get started, it is possible to like both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but when it comes to Orlando Democrats choosing sides in the recent war of words between these two factions of the party isn’t even close.
This is Pelosi territory. Here’s why.
Let’s begin with the Orlando Congressional Delegation. Val Demings, Darren Soto, and Stephanie Murphy have all either fundraised or toured their districts closely with Pelosi. And she basically introduced Demings and Murphy to the rest of the country during the 2016 DNC. Recently, Murphy even publicly rejected AOC’s views of socialism (story HERE).
Continuing, let’s talk about the tone of their respective messages, the tri-county area is for the most part blue with Seminole county trending purple or slightly red, but they’ve rejected AOC minded ideas where they just throw money at an issue to fix it. Most recently, Osceola County turned down a penny tax that did just that to correct poor urban planning with roads in the region. Seminole County still has an entirely Republican commission that campaigns on fiscal responsibility to win over moderates and while Orange County has looked to the dollar to fix problems, even they’ve decided to put it on the ballot and let voters decide, rather than just go for an all out tax hike.
Finally we have recent history. All three of the previous mentioned members of congress have defeated more progressive primary challengers in recent years, including an AOC endorse candidate (story HERE). In the 2016 Senate race, the moderate Patrick Murphy won the primary, and right at this very moment, its the self described center-left, Joe Biden, that leads among Florida Democrats in the 2020 primary.
AOC followers aren’t completely invisible in Orlando, there often at Bernie rallies and other events, but Orlando Democrats still believe in the current leadership they have in Washington and they’ll still likely vote that way next year.