Dems’ cynical spending on Trumpy primary candidates shows their priority


President Joe Biden says that “MAGA Republicans” stand for “semi-fascism” that “threatens the very foundations of our republic.” Who are these semi-fascists? Sometimes he says they’re President Donald Trump and his supporters, then he backpedals. Sometimes he says they’re the Jan. 6 rioters or people who think Biden stole the 2020 election. Sometimes he lumps in pro-lifers, Wall Street and anyone who opposes Biden’s agenda.

Biden’s a Democrat, so it’s fair play for him to oppose all Republicans. But if Democrats want Americans to take seriously their dire warnings about Make America Great Again candidates being a threat to the survival of democracy, the least they could do is stop helping Trump allies and “Stop the Steal” protesters win Republican primaries.

Donald Trump
The candidates former President Donald Trump endorsed this campaign season are reigning supreme in their elections.
Reuters/Andrew Kelly

They’ve been up to that all year, to the tune of $43.9 million and counting in spending on TV ads and mailers. In nearly every case where Democrats have taken sides in Republican primaries, they’ve backed either a Trump-endorsed candidate or one who says Trump was robbed in 2020:

  • In the Illinois gubernatorial primary, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association spent a record-breaking $35 million on Trump-backed state Sen. Darren Bailey, twice as much as Bailey and his allies spent. Bailey, trailing in the polls in May, beat Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who was bidding to become the state’s first black governor.
  • In Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary, Democrat Josh Shapiro spent more than $840,000 to help Trump-endorsed Doug Mastriano, who attended and helped organize the Stop the Steal rally. Mastriano easily won his primary against a divided field despite spending less than $370,000 on his own TV ads.
  • In Colorado’s Senate primary, Democrats supported state assemblyman and Stop the Steal rally attendee Ron Hanks, who literally launched his campaign with an ad blowing up a Dominion voting machine. Democratic Colorado, a front group for Chuck Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC, spent more than $4 million boosting Hanks — more than 30 times as much as Hanks spent on his entire campaign. Hanks still lost to construction executive Joe O’Dea. Democrats also spent almost $2 million on former mayor Greg Lopez, another stolen-election candidate, in the state’s gubernatorial primary and another $300,000 meddling in a House primary, both of which failed.
  • In Maryland, the DGA spent $1.16 million to lift Trump-endorsed, QAnon-sympathetic, Stop the Steal rally attendee Dan Cox over Kelly Schulz. Cox, who spent just $21,000 on ads, was outraised 5 to 1 by Schulz, who was supported by Gov. Larry Hogan.
  • In the House, Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer — who voted to impeach Trump — lost his primary to Trump-endorsed challenger John Gibbs. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $435,000 on ads backing Gibbs in the campaign’s closing days, more than Gibbs raised in his entire campaign. California Rep. David Valadao, who also voted to impeach Trump, narrowly survived a primary against MAGA-hat-wearing Stop the Steal challenger Chris Mathys; Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House Majority PAC spent more than $110,000 aiding Mathys.
  • In Arizona’s gubernatorial primary, Democrats sent out a formal thank-you to Karrin Taylor Robson for past donations to the party, a move aimed at helping Trump-endorsed candidate Kari Lake, who won the primary and has vowed to “decertify” the 2020 election, over Robson, who was backed by Mike Pence and Gov. Doug Ducey.
  • Now, in New Hampshire’s Senate primary, the Senate Majority PAC is putting $3.2 million behind another Trumpy stolen-election candidate, retired Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc, while Senate Republicans are spending millions to try to stop Bolduc and nominate state Sen. Chuck Morse.

Nancy Pelosi, asked about this strategy, said that Democrats are just acting “in furtherance of our winning the election.” That’s all that really matters to her party. Democrats’ words may say that they’re worried about MAGA Republicans as a threat to the republic — but their money says that they can’t live without them.

Dan McLaughlin is a senior writer at National Review.

Twitter: @BaseballCrank


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