Democrats have spent millions supporting GOP candidates – will it backfire?
(NewsNation) — Democratic-aligned groups have spent tens of millions of dollars backing MAGA Republicans on the assumption they would be easier to defeat in the general election. Now some of those same races are more competitive than they anticipated.
In total, Democrats have spent more than $53 million supporting right-wing candidates in nine state primaries this year, according to a Washington Post analysis.
More than 60% of that money, about $34.5 million, came from groups aligned with Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, and was used to elevate the Republican gubernatorial candidate — and repeatedly skeptic — Darren Bailey, according to the Post.
Pritzker is heavily favored to win his race, but other GOP candidates who have received help from the left face possible upheaval.
In Michigan, Democrats have spent more than $400,000 on the campaign of John Gibbs, a Trump-backed candidate who said it was “mathematically impossible” for the former president to lose the 2020 election, in the race to represent the state’s 3rd congressional district.
On Thursday, Gibbs has a 65% chance of defeating Democrat Hillary Scholten, according to Decision Desk HQ. A separate election pattern from FiveThirtyEight shows a tighter race and gives Gibbs a 44% chance of winning.
Experts say the political game is nothing new.
“It’s definitely something both parties have used in the past to try to interfere in the other party’s primary to get what they perceive to be a weaker candidate in the general election,” said Aubrey Jewett, political scientist at Central University. Florida.
In New Hampshire, the Senate Majority PAC aligned with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., has spent $3.2 million on ads to help Republican Don Bolduc defeat his more moderate GOP rival Chuck Walrus.
This week, a Trafalgar/Daily Wire poll showed Bolduc had a one-point lead over incumbent Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan. Decision Desk HQ still gives Hassan a 67% chance of retaining his seat, but that’s down from 87% just a month ago.
Although the Washington Post found no evidence that Democrats threw money behind Republican Kari Lake in Arizona’s gubernatorial primary, the state’s Democratic Party campaigned against his opponent more moderate. via an explosion of e-mails.
Just weeks before the GOP primary, the Arizona Democratic Party sent an email thanking Lake’s more moderate opponent, Karrin Taylor Robson, for “years of funding Democrats.”
“It’s always a risk, it’s a gamble,” said Samara Klar, a political scientist at the University of Arizona. “If you try to back the candidate you think is the most dangerous…you risk that candidate winning the general election.”
Arizona Democrats could learn that lesson the hard way.
Lake, who has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s victory, went on to win his party’s nomination and is favored to win next week’s general election.
Now Democrats are hoping former President Barack Obama can help them cross the finish line.
On Wednesday night in Arizona, Obama called out GOP candidates who have spread unfounded allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
“If you need one more reason to vote, consider the fact that our democracy is on the ballot and nowhere is that clearer than here in Arizona,” Obama said.
Republicans currently have a 54% chance of controlling the Senate and an 80% chance of controlling the House, according to Decision Desk HQ’s forecast model.