Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known for her progressive policies and using social media to connect with her supporters. Less than two years into her first term she had already garnered more Twitter followers than any other member of the House, per CNN. Today, Ocasio-Cortez has nearly 13 million followers on Twitter and 8.7 million on Instagram.
As reported by Time, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign was largely supported by young volunteers who saw the opportunity to have a voice of their generation in Congress. “We were all children of the recession,” Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats, who volunteered for Ocasio-Cortez, told the outlet. “There’s an overwhelming sense that the economic and political system in our country is rigged.”
During the 2020 election cycle, when campaign events were limited due to COVID, Ocasio-Cortez used social media to host livestreams that appealed to young voters — a key demographic in electing Democrats (via The National Interest).
“Representative Ocasio-Cortez‘s social media savviness has definitely helped her reach a national audience and especially young voters,” Kira Sanbonmatsu, professor of political science at Rutgers University and senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics, told The National Interest. “It reflects a shared, generational experience with social media.”
Although many dismissed Ocasio-Cortez due to her age, she has clearly used it to her advantage, as well as to the benefit of the Democratic party. As Sanbonmatsu noted, young people are drawn to the history-making congresswoman because her successful run was “an inspiration to young people in politics.”