endorsement endorse Bernie Sanders Ilhan Omar Rashida Tlaib Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez AOC Ayana Presley candidate voters freshmen congresswomen
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Freshmen Democratic Congresswomen Omar Endorses Bernie Sanders, AOC Expected to Follow Suit

Freshmen Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar has given 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders her endorsement. The 78-year old senator from Vermont received the endorsement from Omar in on Tuesday night in a video that she released on Twitter. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is expected to endorse Sanders in an appearance as his “special guest” at a rally this Saturday in Queens, according to multiple reports.

Omar also alluded to an endorsement for Sanders from Sen. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, but in a statement to the Detroit Free Press Tlaib said that she had “not made any endorsement at this time.”

“It is critically important to me to involve my residents and my district in every major decision I make because staying rooted in [sic] community makes our movement stronger,” Tlaib told the Free Press.

She won’t attend the rally in New York on Saturday either. However, Tlaib said that she is planning to give Sanders a tour of her district on Oct. 27.

AOC, Omar, Tlaib and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who also has not made an endorsement, have been dubbed “The Squad.” The freshmen crew is ethnically and racially-diverse and made up of two Gen-Xers and two millennials. They have ruffled the feathers of old school Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer with their direct approach with Republicans.

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Sanders is among the top three candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is at a distant third after Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, according to a recent Real Clear Politics poll.

What does an endorsement from the freshmen congresswomen mean for Bernie Sanders?

In a political analysis from The Washington Post, the percentage of younger voters between the ages of 18-29 rose to 36% in 2018. That’s a 16% increase from 2014. This is good news for a candidate like Sanders. In the November 2018 Harvard Harris poll, Sanders had an almost 60% approval rating among Democratic voters between the ages of 18-24. These younger voters value causes that focus on  LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, gun control, climate change and reproductive rights, according to The New York Times. Omar and AOC are progressive grassroots liberals who have been outspoken about the very matters of contention shared by that specific demographic.

The endorsement came two weeks after Sanders had a heart attack. The ailment caused him to lose steam in the polls. However, Omar’s current endorsement and AOC’s expected future endorsement of Sanders could give him the momentum he needs to propel him to the top position ahead of Warren and Biden.

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