Sep 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democratic meddling pays off

Tic tac toe board with elephants and donkeys

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The final tally is in: Democrats succeeded in boosting right-wing candidates in six of the 13 Republican primaries they meddled in.

Why it matters: The six races in which Democrats spent money now look close to unwinnable for Republicans, after the GOP nominated fringe or flawed candidates expected to turn off general-election voters. That includes three governor's races, two House seats and one critical Senate battleground.

Details: All told, Democrats spent about $53 million boosting MAGA-aligned candidates in these races, according to the Washington Post.

  • The highlights include a clean sweep of MAGA-aligned candidates in New Hampshire, where Democrats meddled in two of the state's congressional primaries.

But, but, but: Republicans still believe Trump-endorsed John Gibbs, who defeated Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) in an August GOP primary, has a chance to defeat Democrat Hillary Scholten. The Grand Rapids-based district backed President Biden by nine points.

  • And Republicans are hoping a favorable national environment still gives them a chance to win the New Hampshire races. The McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund has already spent $2.3 million of its $23 million scheduled ad buy against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), even though the preferred moderate candidate lost in the primary.
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