Hey guys, remember that time that institutional Democrats were upset that the DNC was producing those generic ads about Republican election-deniers being too extreme for their states?
The idea was that if you told Republican primary voters during the primary that one candidate was totally a racist bag of merde, that the hardcore GOP New Confederacy voters would say, “Yup, that klansman is my guy!” and then the Dems would win because really, who in the suburbs wants to be represented by a goose-stepping, third reich cosplayer promoting The Final Solution?
Anyway, weak-knee’ed centrists and beltway pundits thought this was risky rat-eff’ing and Dems shouldn’t “promote” Republicans, when they go low/We go high, blah-blah-blah, and predicted doom Doom DOOM!!1!
In multiple races—Hillary Scholten’s for a House seat in Michigan, Wes Moore’s for governor in Maryland, JB Pritzker’s for governor in Illinois, and Josh Shapiro’s for governor in Pennsylvania, to name a few—Democrats placed a risky bet by funding extremist candidates in Republican primaries, the theory being that they would be easier to beat in a general election. Every single one paid off. Drawing stark distinctions was crucial, as California Democratic strategist Sean Clegg told me it would way back in July. “This isn’t the Democratic Party against the Republican Party. It’s the Democratic Party against the antidemocratic party,” Clegg said. “These candidates are the brownshirts of the Trump movement. We are confronting a choice as a country, and we may as well make that stark choice up front.”
Our pals at Electoral-Vote concur and have other sources:
During the primaries, Democrats spent close to $20 million promoting 16 different far-right candidates who went on to claim the Republican nomination in their respective primaries. That list includes, most notably, Darren Bailey, Dan Cox, John Gibbs, Don Bolduc, Bob Burns, and Doug Mastriano. And how did that work out for the blue team?Very well, indeed. In those 16 races, some of them quite high profile (like, say, the Pennsylvania governor’s race), the Democrats went… 16 and 0. The blue team would have won some of those races without getting involved, of course, but it’s highly unlikely they would have won all 16.
Now, we’re not saying that the ol’ rat should light a cigarette and order a pizza, but we are saying that this worked and potentially could work again.