Super PACs became a mainstay in American politics after the ruling of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission in 2010.
Since that decision, Republicans and Democrats alike have taken advantage of Super PACs, or independent entities that may raise an unlimited amount of capital from corporations, unions, and individuals without coordinating directly with the parties and candidates.
Most often in the political fundraising space, these PACs are definitively partisan and used to funnel boundless amounts of money into crucial races across the country.
However, with a disastrous polling landscape and a widely-disliked incumbent President with few allies, left-wing Super PACs are pulling every trick in the book to stop the bleed.
According to a new report from Josh Kraushaar, Democrat-aligned PACs are pouring money into GOP primaries across the country hoping to shift those contests in the direction of candidates they believe can’t win general elections.
Kraushaar writes about one notable example in National Journal:
An outside Democratic super PAC popped up out of nowhere in the Colorado Senate race, spending nearly $1 million on behalf of far-right state Rep. Ron Hanks, who has promoted [election fraud] theories about the 2020 election and supports banning all abortions. His more-electable primary opponent, construction-company owner Joe O’Dea, is finding it difficult to keep pace financially with the Democratic spending.
This week, Kraushaar expanded on this story with another example of a Democrat-aligned Super PAC meddling in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 2nd district, a moderate but shifting region where the party nominee will face vulnerable Democrat Elaine Luria.
A sketchy entity called “Patriot Majority PAC” has poured over $1M into the district’s primary race, releasing a positive ad for arguably the most conservative candidate in the race, Jarome Bell.
In the advertisement, a narrator positively discusses Bell’s hard-right stances on abortion and elections, also highlighting his praise for and from President Trump. But, the clip concludes with the following frame, saying Bell’s win would be Trump’s win, then sneaking in a “too conservative for Virginia” tag:
In some cases across the country, these left-wing PACs have seen success promoting hardline conservative candidates in moderate areas and blue states.
However, it is still too early to tell if this $1 million intrusion in Virginia’s 2nd has moved the needle. Moderate primary frontrunner Jen Kiggans is still just that – the frontrunner in the race – by a wide margin.
A late May poll showed Kiggans up 34 points on the next closest opponent, with Jarome Bell sitting at just 8%:
Needless to say, the Democrats are not looking forward to facing Kiggans in November. However, for the record, it is not yet known whether the left is correct in its preconceived notion that pro-Trump, firebrand conservatives can’t win moderate districts in today’s climate.
Virginia was once considered a safe, deep blue stronghold for the party. That is until Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin won a surprising victory in 2021, shocked pollsters, and spelled a grim outlook for Democrats nationwide.
But in an election cycle where the party cannot afford to lose a single seat, the Democrats are doing their best to manipulate GOP voters with undercover tactics, even if their strategy is a shot in the dark.
The moral of the story? Republican voters beware.