Ocasio-Cortez explains how she beat one of the country's most powerful politicians.

After her historic win, everyone wants to know how she did it.

On June 26, congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned the political world with her historic win over Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Her primary victory is part of a wave of women finding newfound success at the ballot box.


Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images.

Now that she's won the primary in her heavily Democratic district, her next step is winning election to Congress this fall. Should she win, she's poised to become a new face of the party and a rising star.

In an interview the morning after her victory, Ocasio-Cortez spoke out about power of reaching out to underrepresented communities: "When people feel like they are being spoken directly to, they'll do things like turn out in an off-year midterm primary."

Ocasio-Cortez did the hard work that's been a cornerstone of elections for centuries: She got out and spoke directly with the people she hoped to represent.

And she paid particular attention to those who aren't often welcomed into the political dialogue.

"We took that message to doors that had never been knocked on before," she said. "We spoke to communities that I think had typically been dismissed, and they responded."

These are exactly the kinds of voters she said "experts" told her to ignore.

Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images.

Changing this country's direction requires more inclusion for those who need change the most. And that's exactly what Ocasio-Cortez did and what she says she's seeing from fellow upstart candidates around the country:

"We need to talk about reaching out to young people, people that we think are usually non-voters, communities of color, people who speak English as a second language, working-class people, people with two jobs that are usually too "busy," quote-unquote, to vote. People that have never voted before."

A telling aspect of her interview was her repeated use of "we" rather than "I" when discussing her victory.

She staked her claim on reaching out to new and underrepresented voters and they rewarded her with a historic primary win. And it's one that could trickle down to races across the country this November.

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