Matt Bush, FISM News
New reports show that Democrats have spent millions of dollars to influence GOP primaries in support of pro-Trump candidates in a controversial ploy ahead of the midterm elections.
The Democratic strategy is to push Republican voters towards what it views as less-electable, more controversial candidates in primary elections in hopes that it will give Democrats a greater chance of persuading independent voters to choose their candidate in November.
The race in Grand Rapids, Michigan is one example of this strategy.
Rep. Peter Meijer, one of 10 Republicans that voted to impeach President Trump, is locked in a battle with former Trump staffer John Gibbs who received an endorsement from Trump. To date, Meijer has spent $2.1 million while Gibbs has spent only $340,000. Democrat strategists are pulling for Gibbs to win, however, believing he be easier to beat than the more moderate Meijer, in the battleground state.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) placed a television ad warning that Gibbs is “too conservative” and that he was “handpicked by Trump.” While on the surface it would appear that this was done as an “attack ad,” in reality the DCCC hopes that GOP voters could be pushed to vote for Gibbs because of his ties to Trump. As Politico notes, the ad would “raise Gibbs’ name ID in the district, especially given Gibbs’ campaign has not been able to air its own TV ads.”
The race in Michigan is just one race across the country where Democrats have meddled in GOP primaries.
As the midterms approach, recent polls suggest that Republicans will take over the majority in the House and that there is a good chance that they will take over the majority of the Senate as well. With 40-year inflation highs, the Hunter Biden controversy, staff defections, international missteps, the crisis at the border, and a crumbling economy, Democrats are taking up desperate measures to combat the unpopularity of President Biden and his policies.
While history shows that intervening in the other party’s primaries can be successful and provide more winnable general elections, it can also prove to backfire. In this instance, Democrats may be playing with fire, as Trump has proven to have a loyal, passionate base who come out to the polls in droves.
The Democratic party is hoping that the highly publicized, one-sided Jan. 6 congressional hearings, in which Trump was called a “threat to democracy,” will chip away further at his image and cause independents to avoid candidates who have any ties to the former president.
However, even those within their own party have warned that this could be counterintuitive, with voters seeing the strategy as “cynical and hypocritical.” CNN’s John Avlon said that for all the “righteous talk” of Democrats, the move has the party “trying to meddle in Republican primaries, not to aid honorable Republicans but to try to kneecap them.”
“It’s a dangerous game to play because, with the gravitational pull of the midterms moving away from the president’s party, there’s a non-zero chance that some of the more extreme candidates could win, despite being objectively worse fits for their districts,” Avlon added.