Republicans Are Officially Backing Candidates From The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

A few days ago we warned you that NeverTrump conservative Republicans-- no longer welcome in the GOP-- are making a play to exert more influence on a rudderless, basically adrift Democratic Party, irreconcilably split between a progressive wing (the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party) and a conservative wing (the Republican wing of the Democratic Party). Earlier today, they released a slate of candidates and asked for campaign contributions. It includes 10 NeverTrump Republicans-- all very conservative-- 10 Democrats and one flippy-floppy Republican currently pretending to be some kind of Democrat, Blue Dog Tom O'Halleran.

I wonder what happened to Conor Lamb, who they had already said they were endorsing earlier in the week, but he isn't on the list. Only one, McMullin, is a non-incumbent. He's a co-founder and one of the 17 board members, mostly ex-this and former-that, like Trump's former Comms director (less than a week) Anthony Scaramucci, and former members of Congress like Barbara Comstock, Charles Djou, Charlie Dent, Claudine Schneider, Denver Riggleman and Jim Kolbe, as well as some nationally know formers like Michael Steele, George Conway, Christine Todd Whitman, and Bill Weld. Miles Taylor has been all over MSNBC and other blue media outlets pushing this. No Republicans are hearing anything about it.

Steven Holden, the progressive Democrat running for the Central New York seat John Katko is struggling to hold onto, told me that "Katko's not a mainsteam Republican. Before the events of January 6th, he supported and endorsed the twice impeached, former insurrectionist, President. Regardless of party, John Katko supports anti-choice, anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-union, anti-democratic, anti-Muslim policies, just like Trump." [And just like most of the Renew America Movement bunch.] Central NY voters are not fooled by either John Katko, nor my Primary challenger 'DC Fran' Conole, both of whom are beholden to the military-industrial complex.

The Democrats:

  • Abigail Spanberger (Blue Dog-VA)

  • Andy Kim (NJ)

  • Cindy Axne (New Dem-IA)

  • Elaine Luria (New Dem-VA)

  • Elissa Slotkin (New Dem-MI)

  • Jared Golden (Blue Dog-ME)

  • Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)

  • Mark Kelly (AZ)

  • Matt Cartwright (PA)

  • Susan Wild (New Dem-PA)

  • Tom O'Halleran (Blue Dog-AZ)

The Republicans:

  • Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

  • Dan Newhouse (R-WA)

  • Evan McMullin (R-UT)

  • Fred Upton (R-MI)

  • Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)

  • John Katko (R-NY)

  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

  • Liz Cheney (R-WY)

  • Peter Meijer (R-MI)

  • Tom Rice (R-SC)

The Renew America Movement put out a statement today asserting that "There is an urgent effort by Republicans and former Republicans to stem the tide of anti-democratic and lie-based Republican leaders in congress before it’s too late. So they're asking a subset of mostly-conservative any-fascists to come together and oppose Trump and his allies. Aa tiny handful of Republicans, who are likely to all lose their seats in the midterm (all, like in every one of them), and a gaggle of mostly right-wing Democrats. Last cycle progressive Democrat Eva Putzova ran in the primary against O'Halleran. Now she is chief executive of the Catch Fire movement which helps progressives challenge conservatives. This morning I asked her what she thought about the Renew America Movement endorsing O'Halleran. She told me that he "was a Republican most of his life and only registered as a Democrat because it was politically convenient when the AZ-01 seat became open in 2016. His values have not changed and in his heart, he still is a Republican. Funded by corporations, he voted to deregulate banks, participated in the efforts that would have allowed Congress to fast-track cuts to Social Security, joined Republicans in praising ICE while the agency was separating children from their parents and holding them in cages, and was among the last Democrats to support Trump's impeachment. So, it's absolutely not surprising that Republicans behind the Renew America Movement endorsed his campaign. They may call themselves anti-Trump Republicans but they funded, organized, and voted for Trump. Their policies are completely in-step with Trump's vision. The only thing they dislike is the optics and Trump's comms strategy. Under the surface, they all are the same."

She isn't up for reelection for 3 more years but Kyrsten Sinema is exactly the kind of candidate they will get behind if they still exist. She was the worst Democrat in the House-- chariot the Blue Dogs and with the most-GOP-oriented voting record-- and now she's second to Manchin in terms of terrible voting records... although worse than him in other ways. Thanks, Chuck Schumer! And speaking of Sinema...

This morning Data for Progress released some polling from last week of Arizona likely Democratic primary voters. As you can imagine, Sinema is not Ms Popularity. In fact, she is 45 points underwater. I've never seen that in my life. Only 6% of likely Democratic primary voters strongly approve of her and although another 19% somewhat approve, 49% strongly disapprove and 21% somewhat disapprove. She's dead. Look at the difference between Sinema and Arizona's other conservative senator, Mark Kelly, who hasn't made a spectacle of himself and who generally supports the Democratic agenda.

The pollsters reminded the readers of their memo that "she’s underwater across every demographic."

Data for Progress also noted that Arizona has a real bench of viable potential opponents, each whom is viewed more favorably than Sinema. They emphasize though that "in a hypothetical primary election challenge it would be key for progressives to consolidate behind a single challenger in order to have the best chance of defeating Sinema. At present, the only path Sinema has to win this primary appears to be by too many candidates running and splitting the vote, thus allowing her to sneak by with her clear ceiling of Democratic primary voters."

In one-on-one match-ups, every Democrat beats her, especially progressive Phoenix Congressman Ruben Gallego:

And Data For Progress also polled the popularity of the Build Back Better Act's provisions, which are being spitefully blocked by Sinema-- the root of all the antipathy towards her. "It’s clear that these voters overwhelmingly support the provisions of the Build Back Better Act, and would be much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports those positions. This parallels previous Data for Progress polling, which found that the Build Back Better agenda is very popular among Arizona voters across the political spectrum-- not just Democrats and Independents. In particular, we find Arizona Democratic primary voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate who votes in favor of every major provision of the Build Back Better plan we tested. From Universal Pre-K to expanding Medicare benefits, Arizona voters-- those Sinema would be courting in a 2024 primary-- express they are more likely to support candidates who back these Build Back Better agenda items by wide-ranging margins. Ultimately, Data for Progress finds that Arizona Democratic primary voters are most likely to support a candidate who will pass the Build Back Better Act and Democratic priorities in general--and may well unseat Sen. Sinema to make it happen.

But at least she'll (probably) have the Renew America Movement behind her. Unless the GOP runs a non-fascist conservative.