Pollster: Don’t jump to conclusions about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise

Since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Democratic powerbroker Rep. Joseph Crowley in a New York primary, observers have tried to draw all sorts of lessons from the results. According to pollster Molly Murphy of ARG Research, they ought just to credit Ocasio-Cortez with running a good campaign.

While Americans seem to have a preference for “outsider” politicians, it takes more than that to be successful, Murphy, a Democratic consultant, said Friday on Hill.TV’s “What America’s Thinking.”

“She’s this telegenic, inspiring, sort of powerful figure. And she was able to effectively define Crowley certainly as an insider but as someone who was no longer a good fit for that district,” Murphy told host Jamal Simmons.

“It would be very easy to boil that down into a contest between an insider-outsider, look the outsider wins, there you go,” she continued. “Candidates matter.”

Murphy referred to research from Monmouth University released this week that indicated that, while Americans say they like candidates perceived as “outsiders,” they still want people who actually are able to govern effectively.

“They want someone who is going to hit the ground running,” Murphy said. “What people are looking for is someone who has the right priorities, who has their back, and who is going to go to wherever that job is — be it Congress, governor, state legislature — and be thinking more about the people back home than the people they’re sitting in the room with.”