Both Omar and AOC have endorsed Bernie Sanders, and while they remain popular among Democrats which could help Sanders in the primary, they are not popular with swing voters and could be a liability in a general election.
The election is still a long way off, but Bernie Sander’s polling numbers have remained stagnant in recent months, even dropping a bit. He still has a well-funded campaign and continues to out-raise other candidates who are higher in the polls, but it’s a worrying trend for someone who wants to win the Democratic nomination.
Endorsements have long been a bell-weather for a candidates chances in an election, and were once considered to be fairly accurate indicators. That was until Donald Trump ended up securing the Republican nomination with almost no support from the party establishment, so we’re potentially in uncharted territory.
Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have both recently endorsed Sanders, but no indication that the other two members of The Squad, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), have any plans to endorse Bernie or anyone else at this time.
A July poll by YouGov found all four members of The Squad with negative net favorability ratings among adults nationwide: -17 percentage points for Omar, -16 for Tlaib, -14 for Ocasio-Cortez and -11 for Pressley, although they remain relatively unknown to many voters. Ocasio-Cortez has the highest unfavorable rating at 37%. Thirty-six percent have an unfavorable opinion of Omar, 34% say the same of Tlaib and 28% see Pressley unfavorably.
If Sanders’ goal is to promote an air of electability, these endorsements might not even be all that helpful, but arguably at this point, winning the primary is the most important thing, so having endorsements from these darlings of the Left could help. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. AOC in particular is a favorite target of the Right and the Right-Wing media loves to play her as a radical boogieman of the Left. They will certainly use her to try to discredit Sanders’ progressive agenda should he become the Democratic nominee.