It was the first day of spring, and a cold wind was blowing through Queens. Marty Dolan was down in the city from Irvington, a suburb on the Hudson River where he purchased a house once owned by John Jacob Astor. Now, he is looking for a home in New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens. Astors do not live there, at least not these days. Dolan wants to represent the 14th in Congress, which sounds all good and well, except that he will have to defeat the most famous politician in America after Donald Trump: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As storm clouds gathered, Dolan stood in a scrum of campaign volunteers, talking to them about law and order, which he said were lacking at both the US border with Mexico, where thousands of migrants were arriving daily, and on the city’s subway system, where riders had been rattled days before by a rush-hour shooting at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in downtown Brooklyn. You had to have order in Eagle Pass and East New York. It was common sense. On a nearby patch of grass, children screamed with delight.

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