Anti-establishment wave 'very much in play' in midterms, says pollster

The anti-establishment wave that swept President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE into power in 2016 is still very much in play for the 2018 midterms, pollster Mallory Newall said on Monday.

"What you're seeing is this new era of anti-establishment politics that we started to see, obviously in 2016, with the rise of Donald Trump himself," Newall, research director at Ipsos Public Affairs, said on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking."

"It's still very much in play here," she added. "You see that with seasoned Democrats losing their primaries to more liberal up-and-comers as well."

While Trump was seen as the first major anti-establishment figure to grip U.S. politics with his White House victory two years ago, the left has seen a slew of anti-establishment candidates gain popularity this election cycle.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez landed on the national scene earlier in June after defeating longtime incumbent Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher Dems walk Trump trade tightrope MORE (D) in New York's 14th Congressional District primary.

Similarly, former NAACP President Ben Jealous is an anti-establishment Democrat locked in a gubernatorial battle with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Democratic strategist Basil Smikle told The Hill in June that the wave of anti-establishment candidates is about the party's push for new ideas.

“There’s a huge appetite for a candidate that pushes big, aspirational ideas and not someone preoccupied with shaping public policy within the constraints of their office,” Smikle said.

— Julia Manchester