, 2022-11-02 08:00:09,
From fundraising to publicity to voter turnout, our midterm elections take a back seat to presidential contests; and yet local and state races are the true laboratories of our democracy, with careers launched and long-ranging decisions made in school boards and city councils right up to governorships and federal representatives. Through a chain of unexpected, fortuitous events, a little-known community organizer and Illinois senator, Barack Obama, leapfrogged venerable politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden in his bid for the Oval Office. In 2010, incumbent senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska lost her primary to a Republican challenger; she then switched party affiliation to Independent and won on a write-in ballot, the first successful venture of its kind in over 50 years. (A loyalist, she immediately switched back to the GOP once she’d secured a victory.) A vigorous grassroots effort tipped the scale in favor of New York City’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she rose from savvy barista to patron saint of the progressive Left. On the other side of the aisle, Republican Valkyrie Marjorie Taylor-Greene mastered Ocasio-Cortez’s playbook to win her Georgia district, emerging as a potent force and now talked about as a possible vice-presidential candidate in 2024.
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