3 takeaways from primary night in NY, Kentucky and North Carolina

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If the current leaders in New York hold on after the absentee ballots are counted next week, progressive newcomers will have
successfully knocked off longtime Rep. Eliot Engel and replaced retiring Rep. Nita Lowey. Incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney is also locked in a tight race to retain her seat. City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. — a social conservative who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and has said he would consider voting for President Donald Trump in November — is trailing in his race, likely sparing Democrats an embarrassing result in the country’s bluest district.

But the uncertainty surrounding so many of the night’s races, as voters wait for their mailed-in ballots to be counted, could be a sign of things to come. The coronavirus pandemic is worsening in many regions, and if it doesn’t improve rapidly ahead of the fall, more states could shift toward absentee voting, meaning hundreds of millions of Americans could be facing a similar wait on election night in November.

Ocasio-Cortez easily dispatched of her own challenger,
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a moderate former cable news host who accused the 30-year-old of forsaking her district for the national stage.

The charge didn’t stick and Ocasio-Cortez, who turned her campaign team into a constituent service army during the worst of the coronavirus crisis in New York City, appears poised to cruise to a second term in Congress.

Is this the next AOC?

With her overwhelming win in Tuesday’s primary, chatter over a potential challenge to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2022 is likely to heat up. But in the meantime, Ocasio-Cortez could see her influence in the House Democratic caucus grow if fellow New York progressives Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones, who could be one of the first openly LGBTQ Black members of Congress hold on to their leads in closer, still-undecided races.

“What you all have shown is that a people’s movement here is not an accident, it is a mandate,” Ocasio-Cortez said on a livestream Tuesday night. “This absolutely strengthens us. It’s not just about winning or losing, but so much of this is about how we win. To win with that kind of mandate is transformative, and it tells us that our policy positions are not an accident.”

Caruso-Cabrera, who raised about $2 million, didn’t concede or acknowledge Ocasio-Cortez in a late statement, but urged Democrats to come toget