"I like to think that even though I'm not going to get the opportunity to serve, now we've ignited a belief of what's possible in young people."


Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has gone all in for progressive candidates, and on Tuesday she lost pretty big. 


In the weeks since Ocasio-Cortez toppled 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley to win the Democratic nomination for New York's 14th congressional district, she endorsed at least 11 Democratic candidates who share her democratic socialist agenda. Her stated goal is to prove that left-wing ​politics can thrive across the United States, even in "Trump country."


"We know that the future of this party, if we are to win again, is to rediscover our soul, is to come home and to realize that we can fight for social, economic, and racial justice for working-class Americans," she said Saturday at the annual progressive Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans. "There is no district too red for us to flip."

However, Tuesday's results suggest that she does not speak for many Democratic voters. Five of the seven candidates she endorsed in the Democratic primaries on Tuesday were defeated, and several of the races weren't even close.

Abdul El-Sayed lost the Democratic nomination for Michigan governor to Gretchen Whitmer despite campaigning with both Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, another democratic socialist celebrity. El-Sayed got 31 percent of the vote compared to Whitmer's 52 percent, according to near-final numbers provided by The Associated Press.


"I like to think that even though I'm not going to get the opportunity to serve, now we've ignited a belief of what's possible in young people," El-Sayed said in his concession speech Tuesday night at Cobo Center in Detroit.


Meanwhile, in the Democratic race for Michigan's 11th congressional district, Fayrouz Saad came in fourth among five candidates.


In Missouri's 1st congressional district, Democrat Cori Bush finished a distant second. She got 37 percent of the vote compared to 57 percent for nominee-elect William Lacy Clay. 


In the Democratic primary for Kansas' third district, Brent Welder came close to victory. But when all the votes were counted Wednesday, his 34 percent of the vote fell short of Sharice Davids' 37 percent. 


Ocasio-Cortez did get two victories, which she on Wednesday spun as progress for progressives. Rashida Tlaib got a third of the vote to win the Democratic nomination in Michigan's 13th congressional district. And James Thompson, who also benefitted from Sanders' backing, bested Laura Lombard in Kansas' 14th district, 65 percent to 35 percent. 

The relatively poor showing by progressives is a reality check to those who want to see the Democratic Party reshaped in Ocasio-Cortez's image. However, it is unlikely to allay the concerns of conservatives, and some moderate liberals, who see the Democrats moving inexorably leftward. 


The next Ocasio-Cortez-backed Democrat to be tested is Kaniela Ing. He will face-off Sunday against five other Democrats in Hawaii's 1st congressional district. A recent poll showed him in fourth place, with 6 percent of the vote.