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The 2 Parties Grapple With What To Do About Unelectable Candidates, From JR Majewski To Rudy Salas

The NRCC got stuck with Majewski. The DCCC recruited this one themselves!

A new USAToday poll by Suffolk University shows Trump’s presidential bid in 2024 has cratered among Republicans. “By 2-1, GOP and GOP-leaning voters now say they want Trump's policies but a different standard-bearer to carry them. While 31% want the former president to run, 61% prefer some other Republican nominee who would continue the policies Trump has pursued.” Most say they want DeSantis, basically, to guide the country into home-grown (MAGA) fascism.

Meanwhile, Ally Mutnick reported this morning on a major offshoot of Trumpism: unelectable MAGA candidates. She never mentions words like fascist or Nazi— or even neo-fascist or neo-Nazi— instead, using more neutral words like “lackluster” and “inexperienced.” So her story was about internal GOP conversations about how to keep “lackluster and inexperienced” candidates (Nazis)— like crackpots like J.R. Majewski, Bo Hines, Karoline Leavitt and Joe Kent— from winning nominations in the 2024 primaries. “[S]ome House members and operatives are already debating and trading ideas about how to multiply the number of top-tier candidates and avoid unelectable ones. One effective midterm strategy they hope to replicate: securing well-known nominees in crucial districts who can spook serious intra-party challengers, like Rep.-elect John James.” Not worth mentioning that James beat Democrat Carl Marlinga in a district with an R+6 partisan lean by just 1,600 votes (48.8% to 48.3%) only because the DCCC fucked up so badly, spending ZERO to help Marlinga while the Republicans flooded the district with negative ads and McCarthy put $1,428,319 into the race? I guess they know they can always count on the DCCC to fuckup when push comes to shove.

James lost twice statewide before winning his House seat, leading some Republicans to toss around the names of well-regarded— but losing— 2022 Senate candidates Tiffany Smiley in Washington and Joe O’Dea in Colorado.
Recruitment has taken on increasing importance after the midterms: Republicans limped just past the 218 seats needed to secure the House majority, picking up a scant 5-seat edge that will make governing nearly impossible— and make the next battle for the House in 2024 a pure toss-up.
…The question of “candidate quality” has consumed the GOP after an election cycle that failed to produce the expected gains. It was perhaps most pronounced in the Senate, from Arizona to New Hampshire to Georgia. But Republicans won’t get another shot at those seats for six years. A number of losing 2022 House candidates could jump back in to run for the same seats in 2024, an undesirable outcome for the GOP— unless the party can find fresh faces.
Some party strategists are interested pitching battleground House runs to Smiley and O’Dea, who come armed with high name ID and large donor pools. There’s also talk of making another attempt to get Bill G. Schuette, the son of the former Michigan Attorney General, to make a bid against Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI). Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) is considering a comeback campaign for her seat, according to people familiar with her thinking, after it fell into Democratic hands months after far-right, Trump-aligned Republican Joe Kent beat the incumbent in an all-party primary.
The Republican Main Street Partnership, a group that seeks to elect members who will work in a bipartisan fashion, has already begun canvassing senators and House members for potential recruits in places like Kansas and Pennsylvania.
“Candidates really are important and I think more than ever 2022 showed that,” said Sarah Chamberlain, the president of the partnership. “So our lesson going into 2024 is: Recruit the right candidates for the right seats.”
Because just five seats separate the two parties, any one race or bad nominee could have an outsized impact on who controls the chamber.
Among the notable 2022 flops: J.R. Majewski, an Ohio Republican congressional candidate who misrepresented his military record, saw his party’s campaign arm slash planned TV advertising and lost to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) by 13 points. In Michigan, John Gibbs, a former Trump administration official who once wrote that the United States had suffered as a result of women’s suffrage, also lost to a Democrat by 13 points.
“We lost some seats that we should have won because we had bad candidates,” said Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), who lost a member-versus-member primary after redistricting. “Marcy is tough to beat because she’s a great candidate, and she’s somebody who works hard. But our candidate in that race was a fricking disaster.”
In New Hampshire and North Carolina— as Crenshaw noted— Karoline Leavitt, 25, and Bo Hines, 27, two Gen Z candidates, lost. (Democrats did elect a 25-year-old, Maxwell Frost, in a safely blue Florida district.) Hines has already filed for a rematch.

Maxwell Frost had a little something special going for him— imagine an Uber driver with his very own crypto-advisory board— and then... a million dollars comes in from Sam Bankman-Fried via brother Gabe!

A collection of operatives and members from those states are already mulling how to keep some of those candidates from winning the nomination again. Initial talks have centered around contenders who lost 2022 primary bids.
In Virginia, some recruiters are hoping for another run by Derrick Anderson, a former Green Beret-turned-attorney, who narrowly lost a GOP primary to take on Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger.
In New Hampshire, GOP operatives are eager for George Hansel, a pro-abortion rights Republican mayor, to make another run against Rep. Annie Kuster. Ohio state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, who lost to Majewski in their primary, is considered a potential recruit to mount another bid against Kaptur.
Both North Carolina and Ohio are likely to see new congressional maps enacted for the 2024 election thanks to court rulings this year. Republicans will control the process in both places, and some in the party are not eager to see another run by Hines, whom they felt leaned too far into the MAGA wing in a swing district. One name being floated: Erin Paré, a state representative from Wake County who ousted an incumbent in 2020.
In a brief interview at the Capitol, Rep. Peter Meijer, a pro-impeachment Republican who lost to Gibbs in Michigan declined to rule out another run. “I’m thinking about a lot of things,” he said.
Just like in the Senate, Trump endorsed many of the House candidates who lost in tossup districts, sparking concern among some in the party that they would suffer grave electoral defeats if they continue to let him be the kingmaker.
“The longer the Republican Party hangs on to him the more they’re going to lose,” said Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), a Trump critic who lost a primary after voting to impeach the former president.
But Republicans are confronting an uncomfortable reality they faced in 2022: They can’t always control who their base chooses to elevate.
In some places, outside groups, chiefly the Congressional Leadership Fund, were able to intercede in primaries early and aggressively to help the most formidable general election candidates beat out competition. That worked well for Reps.-elect Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) and Monica De La Cruz (R-TX). [Again, two cases where the DCCC handed the races to the GOP.]
“People say primaries are about ideology or positioning, but they’re actually about electability,” said Dan Conston, the president of CLF, the House super PAC closely aligned with GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Getting the right candidate through the primary ended up being the decisive thing to winning a general election.
In every race where the group engaged and won in the primary, that nominee went on to win the general election, Conston said. In nearly every race where the group engaged and lost in the primary, Republicans went on to lose the general election. There was only one exception: Rep.-elect Brandon Williams in upstate New York.
The extent to which outside groups can effectively boost strong candidates in primaries will determine their fate in 2024.
The next House map is still coming into focus and will be shaped by the looming presidential contest. But some statistics offer a clearer picture of each party’s targets.
There are roughly 50 seats that were decided by 5 points or less at the presidential level in 2020. Democrats have just five members in the tricky position of representing Trump-won territory: Reps. Jared Golden (D-ME), Mary Peltola (D-AK), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Kaptur in Ohio and Rep.-elect Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA), who won Herrera Beutler’s seat. There are also 18 Republicans in districts that Biden carried, a perilous place to be in a presidential election year.
Democrats will have to wage a strong recruitment campaign of their own to knock off some of those Republican members, though they could choose to rely heavily on candidates who came close to winning last fall.
Some operatives hope to see runs by Jevin Hodge and Kirsten Engel, Democrats who came surprisingly close to capturing two Arizona congressional seats; and by Will Rollins and Jay Chen in California.
Meanwhile, Adam Frisch, the Colorado Democrat who came tantalizingly close to ousting GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, hasn’t ruled out another run. And Rudy Salas, who nearly beat Republican Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), filed papers for a rematch.

Salas was one of the worst candidates fielded by the DCCC this cycle. The grotesquely corrupt conservative ran against Valadao in a district with a D+10 partisan lean. The DCCC poured $5,426,046 into the race and Pelosi’s Sam Bankman-Fried-funded SuperPAC spent another $4,527,807. But Salas lost by 4 points in one of the most low turnout races in America (which is what happens when you have two really shitty candidates). The DCCC should instead put their efforts into drafting Andy Levin to run against John James in Michigan.

Earlier today, McConnell told reporters that the Republicans’ Senate candidate quality problem was all Trump’s fault, insinuating that he could have strong-armed the extremist candidates away from nominations except for Trump’s bad influence. “We ended up having a candidate quality [issue]. Look at Arizona, look at New Hampshire, and a challenging situation in Georgia as well… Our ability to control primary outcomes was quite limited in ’22 because the support of the former president proved to be very decisive in these primaries so my view was do the best with the cards you’re dealt. Hopefully in the next cycle, we’ll have quality candidates everywhere and a better outcome… [Y]ou have to have quality candidates to win competitive senate races.” He compared Trump-backed loser candidates in Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire to Tea Party freaks who lost seats for the GOP in 2010 and 2012, like Todd Akin (NV), Sharron Angle (NV), Christine O’Donnell (DE) and Richard Mourdock (IN).

1 Comment

Dec 14, 2022

wrt nazis, they seem to think that they can force their voters to NOT nominate pure shit in primaries. This is questionable at best. There are many dozens of districts and several states where the worse the candidates, the more likely they are to win their primary. nazi voters don't mindlessly follow party pied pipers like democrap voters to. they vote for the worst of the worst and do so proudly.

The real skill they haven't all mastered is how to appeal to the most evil lowest mouth-breather nazi voter to win their primary but then be able to pivot to SOUNDING like a relatively reasonable fascist bigot misogynist retard, to possibly appeal to unaffiliated voters... and hope everyone forgets…

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