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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Akin Ploy in Michigan

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.

 Lachlan Markay at Axios:

National Democrats are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost a far-right, Trump-endorsed conspiracy theorist in one of the most closely watched House races in the country — further endangering one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump.

Driving the news: A new TV ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee portrays Republican John Gibbs as the true pro-Trump conservative in his effort to unseat Republican Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) — aligning with Gibbs' own campaign messaging. 
  • Trump endorsed Gibbs' challenge after Meijer voted to impeach the former president over his role in fomenting the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
  •  Meijer, a freshman, had been in Congress just days when he took that potentially career-ending vote.
  • Now Democrats, who see Gibbs as the more beatable general election opponent, are fueling the Trump-backed effort to oust one of his few remaining GOP critics in next week's primary.
A DCCC spokesperson told Axios it plans to spend $425,000 to air the ad in the Grand Rapids market beginning Tuesday.

There are two dangers with the Akin ploy.

  • When far-right candidates lose the primary, moderate winners come out stronger for the general election, as in Colorado this year.
  • And the more conservative candidate could actually win the general election -- as Democrats learned in 1966 with Ronald Reagan.