Why Democrats Are Funding the GOP Fringe


Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  vic-eldred  •  one week ago  •  17 comments

By:   Karl Rove (WSJ)

Why Democrats Are Funding the GOP Fringe
Hoping to face the weaker candidates, they're running ads that help the far right.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Fringe GOP candidates who are struggling in primaries are getting temporary aid from unusual allies. Democrats are spending tens of millions of dollars on ads in Republican primaries depicting the more radical contender as too conservative—which may be an effective attack in a general election but appeals to Republican voters in primaries. The upside for Democrats is that it can lead the GOP to nominate candidates who are less attractive to swing voters in November.

They're using this strategy to meddle in the June 28 GOP primaries for governor of Illinois and for U.S. senator and governor in Colorado.

Aurora, Ill., Mayor Richard Irvin—a conservative veteran and former prosecutor who emphasizes fighting crime, cutting taxes and spending, and cleaning up politics, and who happens to be black—would be a strong contender this November. That’s why Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association are spending  an estimated $32 million  labeling Mr. Irvin’s principal primary opponent, state Sen. Darren Bailey, as “too conservative for Illinois.”

Mr. Bailey is a freshman legislator from a downstate district of farms and forests along the Indiana border, without major cities or media coverage. The GOP’s best chance to win statewide is a nominee who renews the party’s strength in the northern suburbs while still attracting support from downstate Republican strongholds—and then gets more votes in Chicago than GOP candidates normally do. To deny Mr. Irvin the nomination, Democrats are spending far more depicting Mr. Bailey as a strong conservative than Mr. Bailey is spending on his own campaign.

Voters in Colorado primaries are seeing similar Democrat-funded ads ginning up Republican support for GOP candidates who seem easier to beat in the general.

As of March 31, Republican state Rep. Ron Hanks had raised $57,473 and had $16,165 cash on hand for his U.S. Senate campaign, while the frontrunner, Republican businessman Joe O’Dea, had raised $1,451,498. Concerned that Mr. O’Dea could give Sen. Michael Bennet a real fight, Democrats are spending as much as $3.5 million attacking Mr. Hanks as—you guessed it—“too conservative for Colorado.”

The ads  accuse Mr. Hanks  of wanting to ban all abortions, build a border wall, and expand gun rights. Mr. O’Dea’s campaign suspects Democrats are also  behind mailers  painting Mr. O’Dea as a liberal and in favor of gun control—with no mention of his endorsement by the state’s chapter of the National Rifle Association. (The mailers illegally fail to disclose their donor.) Knowing that President Biden won Colorado by more than 13 points, Democrats seem to think their best option is saddling the GOP with a candidate who can’t raise money and holds extreme views.

Democrats are betting the same tactic will deny University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl the GOP gubernatorial nomination. The only statewide elected Republican—she won in 2016 when Mr. Trump lost Colorado—Ms. Ganahl faces former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez in the primary, whom she’s outraised 8 to 1. Yet another Democrat-backed ad blitz—funneled through a political action committee bankrolled by another PAC that’s backed with $1.5 million from the DGA—is attacking Mr. Lopez’s opposition to abortion and gay marriage, calling him—drum roll, please—“too conservative for Colorado.”

These ploys don’t always work. Democrat interference in earlier Republican contests had mixed results. Sheriff Joe Lombardo of Clark County, Nev., won Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary despite the DGA’s spending $2.1 million portraying him as soft on crime. In California’s June 7 primaries Democrats tried to boost extremist challengers to GOP Reps. Young Kim and David Valadao, both of whom still made it to the November ballot.

But Democrats did help controversial Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano win the GOP gubernatorial nomination. The Democratic nominee, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, ran ads saying, “If Mastriano wins, it’s a win for what Donald Trump stands for.” Pundits downgraded Republicans’ chances of a pickup after Mr. Mastriano’s victory.

The inventor of this strategy is former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), who effectively deployed it in 2012. During the primaries, she spent $1.7 million attacking her weakest Republican opponent, Rep. Todd Akin, as “too conservative.” He was wiped out in November, even though Missouri is a red state.

Ms. McCaskill boasts that she “successfully manipulated” the GOP primary to get the opponent she “was most likely to beat.” That tactic often works, but at the cost of pushing America’s political parties to their extremes and weakening general-election competition. Still, when the opposition meddles in primaries, it’s up to voters to stop themselves from being played for suckers. Republicans shouldn’t vote in ways that make Democrats jump for joy.


Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads and is author of “The Triumph of William McKinley” (Simon & Schuster, 2015).


jrDiscussion - desc
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    one week ago

Tampering with primary elections is nothing new for progressive democrats. They've been tampering with their own primaries as well. The problem is that not enough people take an interest in primaries. That may be why we have seen so many radical candidates on the democrat side. We all can remember democrats who voted for Trump in GOP primaries when they thought he was the weakest candidate.

It is a dangerous game to be playing in a wave election.

Freshman Silent
1.1  bccrane  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one week ago

This says this practice started in 2012, no, it's been employed by the democrats in Michigan for decades now after Michigan went open primary the democrats would switch parties, when the democrat was considered a shoe in for the nomination, and vote for the weakest or even the unheard of candidate on the republican side.

So I did in kind in 2020 and during the primary I voted for Bernie.

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  bccrane @1.1    one week ago

I think we can finally say: There shouldn't be open primaries.

Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2  Greg Jones    one week ago

Drop boxes are open starting today in Colorado.  Going with O'Dea, Ganahl, and against the felonious Tina Peters

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Greg Jones @2    one week ago

Joe O'Dea is a businessman?

Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    one week ago

He owns a construction company..

Freshman Silent
2.2  bccrane  replied to  Greg Jones @2    one week ago

If it's at all possible when they come around to empty the ballot boxes make sure the van has a permanent decal of "POLL WORKER" on the side not a duct taped piece of cardboard on the door, as what was happening in California.  If it is duct taped, discreetly follow it and see if the poll worker piece of cardboard is removed at some point and the van takes a detour instead of going straight to the polling center.  This may not happen so much in rural areas or even during the primaries, but in the eight weeks up to the election in November this should be watched for.

Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2.2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  bccrane @2.2    one week ago

The box is bolted to a concrete pad, locked, and on camera. It's basically a mail box

Freshman Silent
2.2.2  bccrane  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.1    one week ago

Not talking about the box, its do you know who is in custody of the ballots after you drop it off.

Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2.2.3  Greg Jones  replied to  bccrane @2.2.2    one week ago

I have to assume it's a legitimate election commission representative....with a key to the box

pat wilson
Professor Guide
2.3  pat wilson  replied to  Greg Jones @2    one week ago
Drop boxes are open starting today in Colorado

Are you going to use one ?

Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2.3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  pat wilson @2.3    one week ago

Yep!   And save 58 cents postage.

Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3  Sean Treacy    one week ago

Either Democrats don't believe their own  rhetoric about guys like Mastriano and other Trump aligned candidates as being threats to democracy or they don't care and are willing to risk the country because if it gains their party a marginal advantage. 

Freshman Silent
3.1  Wishful_thinkin  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    one week ago

Mastriano is a POS Trumpublican and religious nut job who shouldn't even be elected as dog catcher.  

Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4  Mark in Wyoming     one week ago

I have heard it called , "party raiding ", and am watching it happen currently here in my state . those registered as dems , reregistering as reps to vote in the primary, according to a lady i know in the clerks office , people coming in to switch parties to vote in the primary is the highest she has ever seen in her 25 years working there.

The only reason i can fathom is they want to influence who the party candidate will be , irregardless of what the actual party members decide .

problem is here, no one is required to vote for the winning party candidate , candidates can still run on the general ballot, and that primary vote  usually dissipates as those that cross over to vote in the primaries , cross back over and vote for their usual party .

The other strange thing i have noticed this cycle , usually i see political ads and signs for all the candidates from both parties because both primaries are usually held very close together , this cycle not one ad or sign for any democrat candidate . I cant even tell you who the dem candidate would be without having to really do some deep searching .

That could be because the main focus of attention is the House of reps race and who gets sent to DC.

Professor Principal
5  JohnRussell    one week ago
Sen. Darren Bailey, as “too conservative for Illinois.”

Bailey is angling for a Trump endorsement, even as the disgraced ex president is being exposed in Congress as a criminal who tried to steal the 2020 election. 

Even if Bailey stumbles to the GOP nomination, he will get destroyed by Pritzker in the general. 

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @5    one week ago
even as the disgraced ex president is being exposed in Congress as a criminal who tried to steal the 2020 election. 

And when will he be indicted?


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