How Democrats’ Favorite Midterm Strategy Could Backfire Horribly

Someone needs to convince the donkeys that boosting crazy Republican candidates is too dangerous

Michael Arceneaux

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Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor’s race at a rally. Mastriano, who has ties to a White Nationalist website, was boosted in his primary by his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

As some of us previously warned, it is a bad idea for Democratic groups like The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Governors Association to spend millions of dollars to elevate far right candidates.

It’s a line of thinking rooted in the presumption that such candidates will be easier to beat. It was effective back in the days where Instagram used to be for pictures and critical race theory was only mentioned by people who understood the definition. For example, former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill spent $1.7 million on ads that boosted radical tea party candidate Todd Akin in his primary election — more than Akin ever spent on his candidacy — and then successfully defeated him. But that was 2012 and even Claire, who now talks on MSNBC for a living, understands that 2022 has a different political climate.

“There certainly are risks, and it’s certainly different today than it was a decade ago,” McCaskill recently explained to NPR. “When Todd Akin said what I expected him to say, something that was off the wall in the general election, unlike today, the Republican leadership all came together and rejected him … I’m not sure you could count on Republican leaders to stand up and reject a candidate that said things that were abhorrent to most voters.”

Anyone paying close enough attention to American politics should know that in the age of Fox News and Facebook, plenty of racist, conspiratorial dingbats could win congressional races and statewide elections.

Such is the case for Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who might presently be netting headlines for his ties to white nationalist sites and Nazi supporters, but nonetheless, reportedly still has a credible chance of defeating his Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro.

During the GOP primary, Shapiro spent money to boost Mastriano’s campaign, and though that might not have played a decisive role in Mastriano winning the nomination, why waste a dollar on a Christian nationalist that plans to outlaw abortion and…

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Michael Arceneaux

New York Times bestselling author of “I Can’t Date Jesus” and “I Don’t Want To Die Poor.”