Our book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
In the 2012 Missouri Senate race, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill ran ads during the GOP primary campaign saying that Todd Akin was "too conservative." The idea of the "attack ad" was to drive GOP voters to Akin, her weakest potential foe. It worked. Other campaigns have tried variations of the "pick your opponent" ploy. Even in California.
Sandra Fish at The Colorado Sun:
The Democratic Governors Association is financing a group running TV ads boosting the profile of Greg Lopez, one of two Republican candidates for governor in Colorado.
The DGA donated $1.5 million to Strong Colorado for All in recent weeks. That state-level super PAC then donated $600,000 to Colorado Information Network, another state-level super PAC that began airing the ads last week. The $600,000 is the only contribution Colorado Information Network reported in a filing made Monday with the Secretary of State’s Office.
The Colorado Information Network booked at least $915,000 worth of TV ads featuring Lopez to run through the June 28 primary. The group reported about $401,000 of that spending in its Monday report.
The ads stress Lopez’s conservative credentials on abortion, gay marriage and former President Donald Trump.
“Greg Lopez holds views that are too extreme and out-of-touch for Colorado,” DGA spokeswoman Christina Amestoy said. “Voters need to know what he believes in, what he would push on the state, and just how dangerous of a governor he could be.”
Although the ad features ominous music and concludes by saying that Lopez is “too conservative for Colorado,” it appears aimed at swaying conservative Republicans to select him over University of Colorado regent Heidi Ganahl in the gubernatorial primary.
More on the potential for the tactic to backfire:
How California’s unusual primary system can lead to unusual strategies and unusual results.— Ben Christopher (@FromBenC) June 13, 2022
I wrote about a GOP-leaning senate district where two Dems may be on the Nov ballot and what it says about California’s 10 year top two experiment:https://t.co/xy5eQutXBq pic.twitter.com/PzDsl7w6ua