New Yorkers are blaming 'villain' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after Amazon abandoned its HQ2 plans


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  • A poll of New Yorkers shows the majority think Amazon cancelling its HQ2 plans for Long Island City was bad for the city.
  • More than a third blamed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the neighboring district spanning the Bronx and Queens.
  • Ocasio-Cortez was critical of the deal and celebrated when Amazon announced it was pulling out, but has since indicated she’s not totally opposed to Amazon setting up shop in New York.

A poll of registered voters in New York shows more than a third blame Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for the cancellation of Amazon’s HQ2 plans in Long Island City.

When Amazon announced on February 14 that it was abandoning its Long Island City plans, it laid the blame squarely with politicians but did not name names.

“A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project,” it said in a blog at the time.

Ocasio-Cortez represents the neighboring Bronx and Queens district. She was a critic of the deal, and celebrated when Amazon announced it was pulling out.

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not against wooing Amazon back to New York, but she says the firm must listen to locals

Now a poll suggests that New Yorkers may resent Ocasio-Cortez for her opposition. A Siena College survey of 700 registered New York voters found 67% believed that Amazon cancelling its HQ2 plans was bad for New York.

Those questioned were asked whether key figures in the Amazon deal were a “hero,” “villain,” or “role player.” Ocasio-Cortez was most frequently called a “villain,” with 38% of those polled designating her one. The poll also indicated that Ocasio-Cortez’s approval rating has taken a hit since Amazon’ decision, dropping from 34-29 in January to 31-44.

Siena noted in a press release that who the biggest “villain” was differed, depending on people’s political beliefs. “Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

This is not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has been blamed for the deal falling through. Right-wing groups were quick to point the finger at Ocasio-Cortez for Amazon’s decision. One such group took out a billboard in Time Square blaming her for “25,000 lost NYC jobs” and “$4 billion in lost wages.” A photo of the billboard was subsequently tweeted by Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.

However, Ocasio-Cortez has given signals that she’s not completely opposed to Amazon coming to New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been trying to court Amazon back, but told WAMC radio on Monday that he isn’t hopeful, saying “the horse is out of the barn.”

SEE ALSO: A Jeff Bezos letter from 1997 about ‘reversible decisions’ sheds some light on the shock Amazon HQ2 U-turn

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