Rep. Jamaal Bowman, known for his vocal criticism of Israel and as a member of ‘The Squad,’ loses primary.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a vocal critic of Israel and member of “the Squad” has lost his primary election bid, according to preliminary results from the New York City Board of Elections.

Bowman was up against three other candidates in the Democratic primary for the 16th congressional district in New York, which includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester County.

Here are five key takeaways from this closely-watched race:

  1. A stunning upset: With nearly all precincts reporting, Bowman trails his main challenger Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. by a margin of 40% to 30%. This is a significant upset, as Bowman was seen as the favorite in this race and had received endorsements from high-profile figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  2. A referendum on Israel: One of the major points of contention between Bowman and his opponents was his criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. While Bowman has been vocal about his support for Palestinian rights, his challengers accused him of being anti-Israel and not doing enough to address issues facing the Jewish community.
  3. The power of incumbency: Bowman’s main challenger Diaz Sr. is a long-time politician who has held various positions in New York City government for over 25 years. This gave him a strong base of support among voters, especially in the Bronx, where he served as a councilman for several years.
  4. The impact of redistricting: This congressional district had been redrawn after the 2020 census, leading to some changes in its demographics and boundaries. This may have played a role in the primary results, as it shifted the balance of power towards more conservative areas within the district.
  5. What this means for “the Squad”: With Bowman’s loss, the progressive group of lawmakers known as “the Squad” loses a member who was seen as a potential ally in their push for bold policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. This could also signal a shift towards more moderate Democrats within the party, as they may view this result as a rejection of Bowman’s progressive agenda.

While these preliminary results are certainly surprising, it is important to note that they are not final and there will be additional voting rounds before an official winner is declared.

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