There are viable third-party candidates and then there are spoilers, and with tightly contested races coming down to the wire across the country, Democrats are throwing their money behind right-wing alternatives which “could mean the difference between winning and losing.”
By all meaningful metrics, the Republicans are expected to take control of at least the House of Representatives come January, leaving Democrats scrambling strictly to keep the red wave from turning into a tsunami. To do so, vulnerable progressives have taken to financial propping up of third-party candidates in an effort to split support from the GOP.
“It’s an old tactic and one that both parties have used,” Democratic strategist Brad Bannon told Fox News. “It doesn’t always work, but in a close race if you can shift even a few hundred votes away from your opponent, it could mean the difference between winning and losing.”
By way of example, the outlet zeroed in on the gubernatorial race in Kansas that has incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly (D) facing off against Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt. While it is considered a toss-up, the organization American Center has paid for ads backing independent candidate Dennis Pyle who, polling with roughly three percent of the vote, could make all the difference on Nov. 8.
“Meet conservative independent Dennis Pyle,” an ad paid for by the group stated. “He’s running as an independent against RINO Derek Schmidt, who supports illegal immigrants getting in-state tuition in Kansas.”
Fox News reported that American Center, which also spent $92,000 on radio ads for Pyle, shares an address “with a prominent Washington, D.C.-based law firm used by the Democratic Party.”
Likewise in Michigan, the Voter Protection Project (VPP) reportedly spent about $160,000 on David Canny, a Libertarian candidate running to unseat five-term Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee, where mailers were sent out attacking Republican nominee Paul Junge.
“Paul Junge spent a career in California politics. Don’t let Paul Junge bring California values to Michigan,” a mailer read. “David [Canny] will stop wasteful spending.”
VPP is run by a former pollster for Sen. Bernie Sander (I-VT) and Canny had no problem promoting their endorsement of his campaign on social media.
— David Canny for Congress (@DavidCanny4con) October 29, 2022
The progressive organization employed the same propping up of a Libertarian against a Republican in Kansas, launching a website for Steve Hohe in the race against Amanda Adkins and Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids.
“Lobbyist and career politician Amanda Adkins serves the interests of the D.C. elites. Steve Hohe will: crackdown on illegal immigration [and] eliminate the federal income tax and replace with a flat tax,” their site expressed.
Democrats have not been shy about their efforts to manipulate voters as the party didn’t even present their own candidate for Senate in the race against incumbent and stalwart constitutionalist Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Instead, they threw all of their support behind avowed Never Trumper Evan McMullin running as an independent.
Similarly, the left had used funds to support what they considered “extreme right-wing” candidates in the primaries believing them to be easier to defeat in the general election. Time will tell what the final outcome of this effort produced, but at current, more optimistic projections show Republicans finishing with a net positive of more than 40 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.
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