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The Question Of Extremely Poor Candidate Quality Plagues Both Parties

McCarthy blames a poor GOP midterm showing on bad candidate quality

It shouldn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that especially bad candidates are more likely to lose elections than especially good— or even just not bad— candidates. I noticed yesterday that the two worst Democrats who ran serious congressional races in California and lost to subpar hack Republicans— corrupt conservatives Adam Gray and Rudy Salas— are running again in 2024… with DCCC encouragement.

CA-13 has a D+7 partisan lean but state Rep Adam Gray lost an open seat to shady Republican John Duarte 67,060 (50.21%) to 66,496 (49.79%)

CA-22 has a D+10 partisan lean but state Rep Rudy Salas lost to GOP incumbent David Valadao 59,995 (51.5%) to 49,862 (48.5%) in a pathetically low turnout race. Salas and Gray were leaders of the bribe-taking, Republican-lite "Mod Squad" in the state legislature, where they are hated by Democrats... but aggressively recruited by the DCCC. Other than pure tribalism, there is no reason for a Democratic voter to bother casting a ballot for either, unless elected dead weight like Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema is the objective.

The DCCC is incapable of learning. It’s a terrible characteristic and it certainly helps keep the Republicans in power. But, as we’ve seen, the Republicans have the same problem with candidate quality. In fact, yesterday Axios reported that McCarthy “is privately telling big-dollar donors that bad candidates for governor and Senate were a top reason the GOP didn't win more House seats in 2022, emphasizing that quality candidates matter up and down the ticket.” He didn’t mention that the NRCC had it’s share of unelectable garbage candidates as well, although the worst of their candidates, George Santos, was elected, at least in part because of DCCC incompetence and an abysmally bad candidate, Robert Zimmerman, in a district with a D+4q partisan lean. Among the Republicans worst House candidates to lose contests— the ones McCarthy neglected to mention when he was blaming Republican Senate and gubernatorial candidates. Here are 10 obvious awful candidates that serve as examples examples:

  • AK-AL- Sarah Palin (45.0%)- R+15 partisan lean

  • WA-03- Joe Kent (49.59%)- open seat- R+11 partisan lean

  • OH-09- J.R. Majewski (43.4%)- R+6 partisan lean

  • NC-13- Bo Hines (48.4%)- open seat- R+3 partisan lean

  • OH-13- Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (47.3%)- open seat- R+2 partisan lean

  • NH-01- Robert Burns (44.1%)- R+1 partisan lean

  • NH-02- Karoline Leavitt (45.9%)- D+2 partisan lean

  • MI-03- John Gibbs (42.0%)- open seat- D+3 partisan lean

  • IL-17- Esther Joy King (48.0%)- open seat D+4 partisan lean

  • NC-01- Sandy Smith (47.6%)- open seat- D+5 partisan lean

Both parties get saddled with bad candidates, although it seems like the DCCC does it purposefully— always trying to run Republican-lite candidates— and the NRCC gets railroaded into it by the MAGA base they’re so frightened of. The result, of course, is the classic battle to determine which evil is worse in the eyes of swing voters (and discouraged voters). People rarely find themselves voting FOR someone, just against the other party’s candidate. Right now Blue America has endorsed 3 congressional candidates in very contested primaries; all of them are candidates you would want to support, regardless of who they’re running against. First and foremost, they will make great members of Congress. Please consider giving any one of them— or all 3 of them— a campaign contribution by clicking on the thermometer above.


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