Pro-Israel Primary Challengers Outraise and Outpoll Vulnerable 'Squad' Members

Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush could be the first 'Squad' members to lose an election

Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
April 18, 2024

The congressional "Squad" is on the ropes as its most vulnerable members find themselves outraised and outpolled by their pro-Israel primary challengers.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.), who initially dismissed reports of Hamas terrorists raping Israelis as "propaganda" in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 attacks, was drastically outraised by his primary opponent during the first three months of 2024, Federal Election Commission filings show. Westchester County executive George Latimer raked in $2.2 million from January through March and ended the quarter with over $3 million in his campaign war chest. Bowman raised just $1.3 million, and has less than $1.5 million on hand heading into the June 25 primary.

Latimer launched his campaign to unseat Bowman after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and has garnered support from major pro-Israel groups including the Democratic Majority for Israel Political Activity Committee and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is expected to spend $100 million in 2024 to unseat anti-Israel politicians.

Bowman has remained unrelenting in his opposition to Israel even as Latimer has a massive 17-point polling lead against the "Squad" member. Bowman was one of 14 House lawmakers on Thursday to vote against a resolution condemning Iran for its drone and missile attacks against Israel last weekend and reaffirming the United States’ commitment to supporting Israel through weapons assistance.

Bowman was joined in voting against the resolution by his fellow "Squad" member Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.), who faces her own formidable primary challenge from St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell. Bell launched his campaign after the Oct. 7 attacks and has frequently attacked Bush for her steadfast opposition to Israel.

Bell, who has also secured support from pro-Israel groups in his campaign, leads Bush by 22 points, according to a recent poll. Bell raised $954,000 during the first three months of 2024, compared with Bush’s $608,000. He also has a significant cash-on-hand advantage over Bush, ending the quarter with over $1.1 million. Bush, meanwhile, has just $528,000 on hand heading into the August 6 primary.

If Bowman or Bush lose their elections, it would mark the first electoral loss for the "Squad" since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) launched the caucus in 2019.