Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
GOP candidates are already pummeling each other in monthslong advertising free-for-alls, fights intensified by unprecedented television spending. The parties’ approaches in money spent and messaging could hardly be more different so far, as is the mere number of contested races: For Republicans, there are more than a dozen states where GOP candidates are attacking each other in bids for Senate nominations, while Democrats have unresolved primaries in just two key states — neither of which have turned vicious yet.
The difference is especially pronounced in Pennsylvania. As the Democratic frontrunners Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Rep. Conor Lamb run ads arguing why they can win in one of the nation’s top battleground states, GOP candidates there have dropped a record-shattering $35 million on TV — the vast majority coming from Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick, the leading Republicans, whose camps are framing the other as a “liberal RINO” and “Wall Street insider,” respectively.
“They’re doing what I want them to do, which is kick the crap out of each other,” said J.B. Poersch, president of the Senate Majority PAC, Senate Democrats’ flagship super PAC.
The war in Ukraine has opened a new front in the U.S. Republican Party's civil war, with party primary candidates vying to run in the November midterm elections attacking each other for past comments praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In Senate and House of Representatives races in at least three states, Republican candidates have been put on the defensive over comments describing Putin as intelligent, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as a "thug" and Ukraine as not worth defending. They now face criticism at a time when U.S. public opinion strongly supports Ukraine and its president.\
Pat McCrory, a leading Republican Senate candidate in North Carolina's May 17 primary election, lashed out this week at his Trump-backed Republican rival, Representative Ted Budd, in his first TV ad.
"While Ukrainians bled and died ... Congressman Budd excused their killer," McCrory says in the ad, which is interspersed with video clips from a TV interview showing Budd describing Putin as "a very intelligent actor" with "strategic reasons" for the invasion.