(NewsNation) — Democrats in states such as Illinois and Pennsylvania have been paying for advertisements that actually favor pro-Trump Republican candidates in primaries.
This may sound like a head-scratching, hypocritical move by Democrats, but according to one strategist, the move might help them come November.
Democrats’ belief in these scenarios is simple: MAGA candidates are easier to beat in November than moderates, therefore helping them win their primaries benefits Democrats in the end.
In Illinois, the Democratic Governors Association has run ads that appear to boost the reputation of Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey, a pro-Trump Republican, in his primary race against more moderate Republican candidates such as Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.
The ad pegs Bailey as being pro-Trump, pro-gun and anti-abortion, and could pass for an ad run by the Bailey campaign itself, showing images of the state senator smiling in a corn field and shooting a large gun.
In California’s race for the 22nd district seat, Republican David Valadao is attacked in an ad paid for by Democrats for his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
That’s right, even as Democrats sound alarms about the dangers of a second Trump presidency and conduct hearings on the Jan. 6 capitol riot, they are simultaneously attacking a Republican in an ad for voting to impeach Trump.
NewsNation’s Dan Abrams says a campaign like this by Democrats is “dishonest.”
“The same Democrats who on MSNBC and CNN preach about how important it is to democracy that MAGA candidates are defeated … it’s all just so dishonest,” he said Thursday on “Dan Abrams Live.” “It’s the very thing people hate about politics most.”
But Democratic campaign strategist Mike Mikus rejects the notion this is dishonest work by Democrats. He contends “this is what campaigns are all about.”
“Sometimes in an election, in an environment that … gets so bad, you have take risks,” Mikus said. “I’m not saying Democrats need to be doing this in every district, in every state across the country, but there are a handful of races they can do this.”
Abrams pressed Mikus about whether or not it was “hypocritical” for Democrats to say MAGA candidates were dangerous for democracy, but then turn around and publicly support them in ads.
“The bottom line is it’s about winning elections,” Mikus said. “Sometimes in elections, because there are no guarantees, you have to play the odds.”