Should Democrats spend donor money in Republican primary elections?

While Democrats can argue that their ads merely supported voting for Democrats, Professor Wendy Schiller does not believe DCCC donors want their money spent in Republican primaries.

Last week in the Republican Primary, former Trump administration official and 2020 election denier, John Gibbs, beat Representative Peter Meijer. Meijer was only one of ten Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump for his involvement in the January sixth insurrection.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (“DCCC”) spent $435,000 dollars in the final stretch of the race on ads claiming Gibbs is “too extreme” for west Michiganders. In that race, Meijer lost by less than 4,000 votes.

According to Newsweek, Democrats spent over 43 million in Republican primary ads. This has raised claims that the DCCC spent its money boosting far-right Republican candidates in their primary races, in an effort to have easier races in the general election.

“It promotes people who are literally destabilizing democracy.” — Wendy Schiller, Brown University

Listen: Why Democrats spending money in Republican primaries is risky strategy.



Wendy Schiller is a professor of political science, professor of international and public affair, and Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy at Brown University. She says funding campaigns across party aisles is dangerous because it supports the continued campaigns of people who are undermining our system of democracy.

“It promotes people who are literally destabilizing democracy,” says Schiller. “It keeps alive this notion that the election was stolen and we should not have faith in our electoral system.

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