Democratic strategy of elevating GOP candidates paid off

Politics

(NewsNation) — In a controversial move, Democrats around the country used their own resources to elevate the more right-wing candidates in Republican primaries and defeat Republican moderates. They did this in the hope that these candidates would be weaker in a general election.

But this strategy also risked helping the most conservative Republicans take office.

Yet Tuesday’s elections showed that the Democratic strategy paid off in many places.

In Illinois, for instance, Democrats spent at least $35 million backing GOP State Sen. Darren Bailey, helping him secure his party’s nomination for governor. Bailey went down in a double-digit loss on Tuesday.

In nearby Michigan, Democrats spent upward of $400,000 supporting John Gibbs in his quest for the GOP nomination in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. Gibbs lost to Democrat Hillary Scholten.

Meanwhile, incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan easily beat her Republican opponent, retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc. Democrats spent millions helping Bolduc win his Republican primary.

In Maryland, too, a Republican candidate Democrats spent at least $1 million supporting in his primary — GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox — was defeated.

Still, there is at least one race that’s too close to call where the Democrats’ strategy may have backfired. In Arizona, Democrats used an email blast to boost Kari Lake to the GOP gubernatorial nomination. With ballots still being counted, it’s possible Lake emerges victorious and claims the title of the next governor of Arizona.

In each of these races, it’s hard to chalk up the result to any one particular factor because the reasons behind any one election outcome are so complicated. But at least for now, the Democratic strategy of intervening in Republican primaries appears to have paid off.

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