Why Are Democratic Groups Airing Ads Promoting Potential GOP Opponents?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Axios Sneak Peek, when I came across this item from Alayna Treene headlined “Dems’ sabotage ads.”

Democratic groups are buying ads touting some of the most extreme pro-Trump candidates in Republican primaries around the country — meddling in GOP contests to set up more favorable matchups in November, Axios’ Sophia Cai reports.

Why it matters: The risky gambit assumes general-election voters will reject candidates who embrace conspiracy theories or lies about the 2020 election. But it could dramatically backfire by vaulting fringe Republicans into national office.

Does that make any sense at all to you, Doc? Seems kind of Demwitted to me.

– Chris Cross

Dear Chris,

Yeah, this is one where the ratf**kers should have just set their money on fire.

Sophia Cai’s Axios report calls the roll of the failed efforts.

Sabotage ad #1

Ahead of last week’s primaries, the Nancy Pelosi-affiliated House Majority PAC funded a 30-second TV ad promoting self-declared “Trump Conservative” Chris Mathys against moderate Republican Rep. David Valadao in California’s 22nd District.

And Valadao isn’t just a moderate – he’s a turncoat. “David Valadao claims he’s Republican,” the ad’s narrator says, “yet David Valadao voted to impeach President Trump.”

Golden State election results tend to treacle in, but here are the CA-22 numbers according to Ballotpedia.

That’s David Valadao 1, House Majority PAC 0, if you’re keeping score at home.

Sabotage ad #2

In California’s 40th District, Democrat Asif Mahmood has been running ads casting Republican Greg Raths — who had to apologize last month for using antisemitic tropes — as his head-to-head opponent instead of moderate Rep. Young Kim.

Once again, Ballotpedia has the scorecard.

So, oh-for-two.

Sabotage ad #3

[I[n Colorado, a new Democratic super PAC cut a TV ad boosting far-right, election-denying state Rep. Ron Hanks in the June 28 GOP primary to decide who will take on Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

The group has reserved at least $1.49 million in TV ad slots across Colorado over the next few weeks.

Hanks’ moderate Republican rival Joe O’Dea accused Democrats of “hijacking the Republican nomination for an unserious candidate who has zero chance of winning.”

With primary day June 28, the jury’s still out on that race. Also awaiting a verdict on the 28th: GOP candidates in the Illinois gubernatorial primary, as Karl Rove notes in today’s Wall Street Journal.

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.”

Thirty-two million makes the other kneecapping efforts look like lunch money, even though Rove says the Democratic super PAC in Colorado could spend “as much as $3.5 million attacking [Ron] Hanks as—you guessed it—’too conservative for Colorado.’”

The Democratic Governors Association is also meddling in Colorado’s GOP gubernatorial primary, running an ad campaign with $1.5 million that the DGA laundered through a couple of PACs.

The Doc will make some house calls at the end of the month to determine the health of those Democratic investments. And prescribe condolences accordingly.

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