Democrats spend $53 million to boost far-right GOP candidates
As the primary season draws to a close on Tuesday, Democrats have spent more than $53 million to boost far-right Republican primary candidates in nine key states in a contentious election strategy – despite public outcry on the threat posed to the United States by such candidates. be office holders.
In some races, Democrats spent more than 30 times what GOP candidates were able to muster on their own, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Facing an unfavorable midterm environment, Democratic campaign organizations backed fringe candidates in California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia – betting that their chosen candidate will be easier to beat in November.
Most of the money was used to fund TV ads aimed at Republican voters that often tout the candidate’s hardline anti-abortion views and support former President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election will was stolen by electoral fraud.
In total, Democratic campaigns or outside groups intervened in 13 primary races in the nine states — six gubernatorial contests, two Senate primaries and five House races.
In 11 of the GOP races that have been decided so far, the Democrats’ favorite candidate has won four times – gubernatorial contests in Illinois, Maryland and Pennsylvania as well as the primary in Michigan’s 3rd District, where incumbent pro-impeachment Peter Meijer was knocked down by challenger John Gibbs.
In at least seven of those nominating battles, Democrats have outspent their preferred candidate. In Maryland, for example, state delegate Dan Cox secured $1.7 million in Democratic support, nine times what Cox’s own winning campaign spent, according to the analysis.
The most egregious example is in Illinois, where the Democratic Governors Association spent $34.5 million to propel GOP state Senator Darren Bailey — who once described politicians who wanted Trump gives in to 2020 as “appalling” – to the gubernatorial nomination.
The strategy didn’t always work. In Colorado, Democratic-backed Republican candidates for governor, senator and congressman went 0-3 in the June 28 primary.
The final two races targeted by Democrats will be decided in New Hampshire on Tuesday. In the Republican primary for the right to face incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan, the Senate Majority PAC — which is aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — shelled out $3.2 million for ads endorsing the retired army brigadier. General Don Bolduc.
Bolduc, who polls show is the far leader of state Senate Speaker Chuck Morse, has previously said he « agrees » with Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Some Washington Democrats were unhappy with the deception, warning that backing such candidates could backfire and propel them to power.
« I want to win these races, but it worries me, » Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told Politico in July. « I’m really concerned about the promotion of election deniers and this idea that we’re going to be able to control what voters ultimately want. »
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) was more blunt, calling the strategy « dishonorable, » « dangerous » and « just plain wrong. »
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney insisted last month that the organization had « done its job » by interfering in the Republican primaries.
The White House has maintained a studied silence on the matter. As recently as Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris told NBC’s « Meet The Press » that « I’m not going to tell people how to run their campaigns. »
“I ran – statewide, for attorney general, re-election – won both times. For the Senate, won this race,” she said. “And I know it’s best to let a candidate, along with his advisers, let him make the decision based on what he thinks is in the best interests of his state. I’m not going to tell people what to do that way.