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.
Sarah Ferris and Ally Mutnick at Politico:
A growing number of House Democrats are seething at their own campaign arm for meddling in a GOP primary to promote a pro-Trump election conspiracy theorist — after months of warning that such candidates were a threat to democracy.
In public statements, private chats and complaints taken directly to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic members are aghast that the committee is spending nearly half a million dollars to air ads boosting Donald Trump-endorsed John Gibbs over Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who voted to impeach Trump last year.
While Meijer is one of the few GOP lawmakers who voted to hold Trump accountable for his own false claims about the 2020 race, his blue-leaning seat is also a top Democratic target district this fall — and Gibbs is seen as an easier opponent to beat in November. The primary next Tuesday will kick off a three-month sprint to the general election.
“No race is worth compromising your values in that way,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), who sits on the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Trump’s election-subverting schemes that preceded it.
Democrats, like Murphy, fear the strategy could easily backfire, if a candidate like Gibbs were to win the general election amid a GOP wave — and the party also risks undercutting its own core message about the dangers of MAGA Republicans taking power. It could be harder for Democrats to claim that certain GOP candidates are an existential threat to the country if they are also using party money to push them closer to winning office.
Some members’ frustrations are particularly acute now, after months of simmering tensions with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) over other issues during his tenure as chair of the DCCC.