Conservative group attacking Ocasio-Cortez hires libertarian consultant to run polls

Photo: Max Parrott/QNS

A conservative PAC based in D.C. created for the sole purpose of unseating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently sent out a batch of antagonistic fliers to residents in areas of Queens and the Bronx in her district.

The fliers were distributed during door-knocking efforts between Aug. 22 and 26 that the PAC is conducting in the area. Federal Election Commission filings as of July 31 show that the Stop AOC PAC, started by Virginia lawyer Dan Backer, has spent over $50,000, not just on fliers but on constituent surveys, too. 

The PAC began its mission of convincing residents that Ocasio-Cortez is working against their interest by buying digital ads and TV spots and at first commissioned a poll by an impartial political research firm. Then they hired a libertarian advocacy group to take over the polling in the district. 

“I’m a bit of a partisan and I recognize that, but when we did the poll originally, I would’ve thought the things that I care about, other people care about. But they don’t,” Backer told QNS. “It was all about Amazon.”

Backer has been involved in dozens of conservative PACs over the years. He currently is leading two other organizations aimed at reelecting President Trump in 2020. Great America PAC has raised $1.7 million and the Committee to Defend the President PAC raised $3 million.

Based on the results of the initial poll in March, Backer said that the Stop AOC PAC has used subsequent polls in order to quantify the level of anger among Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents who didn’t agree with Ocasio-Cortez’s stance on the Long Island City Amazon HQ2 deal. 

Over the past six months, the PAC commissioned polls from two different polling companies to patently different results. 

The first poll it commissioned was in March from Revily, a political research company that received 0 percent bias rating by FiveThirtyEight. The ensuing polls found Ocasio-Cortez to be 43 percent favorable and 28.9 percent unfavorable within all registered voters in the district.

From there on, Backer found a new organization to conduct its polling. It hired Mobilize the Message, a campaign consulting firm aimed at empowering young libertarians to run for office. 

The two resulting polls, which Backer claims was the result of between 1,000 and 2,000 completed surveys each, show the majority of voters — and Democrats — in her district find her unfavorable. The most recent one conducted in August shows 31 percent favorability and 37 percent unfavorability for the progressive legislator. 

“Scam artists gonna scam,” AOC’s spokesperson told QNS in response to the figures.