Sometimes I hear about a Trump-loving, COVID-denying, flat earther who is running in a GOP primary somewhere against a more mainstream Republican and I think, “Yeah, let the crazy one win. He’s too crazy for the general election, which will benefit the Democrat in the race.”
The Washington Post takes a closer look at this kind of calculation being made by some Democratic PACs and examines the considerable risks behind this thinking:
The apparent bet these organizations are placing is that such far-right candidates, who hold polarizing views on various issues, would be easier to defeat in the November midterms when a broader slice of the electorate will be casting ballots. But some Democrats warn that this is a precarious strategy in a year when the party is facing stiff head winds — one that could result in the election of Republicans promoting false claims who could use powerful posts to disrupt future votes.
“I think it’s very dangerous and potentially very risky to elevate people who are hostile to democracy,” said Howard Wolfson, a Democratic strategist who has helped helm former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg’s political spending. “Either this is a crisis moment or it isn’t. And if it is — which it is — you don’t play cute in a crisis.”
The strategy will face its latest test on Tuesday in Nevada, one of several states holding primaries. A crowded field is vying for the Republican nomination for governor there, including Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who is backed by Trump and is seen by many as the front-runner on the GOP side. Lombardo has faced attacks from a Democratic-affiliated organization called “A Stronger NV.”
Of course, this sort of gamble made more sense in the time before Fox News, the internet, and the fact that a lot of voters are so whacked out on conspiracy theories that what you and I would once consider too crazy is actually not crazy enough for many conservatives.
And, as the article notes, the wild card this time around is inflation, which has the electorate left, right and center pissed off.