State Delegate Dan Cox won the bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, so those firmly on the right in the state are overjoyed. But they are not alone…
Cox also got support from a surprising source, the Democratic Governor Association. They aired an ad for Dan Cox almost three weeks ahead of the primary praising him as a true conservative.
He was running against a more moderate Republican who had the former GOP governor, Larry Hogan’s, endorsement. Kelly Schulz was a member of Hogan’s cabinet.
Why did Cox get the Democratic Governor Association’s support? They believe that he will be a much weaker candidate in the general election in Maryland in November. Former President Trump lost to President Joe Biden in Maryland by about a 2 to 1 margin.
Maryland isn’t the only place where this happened. In Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro ran ads promoting far-right state Senator Doug Mastriano. Shapiro wants to run against him because of his overt support of former President Trump.
And in Arizona, the state Democratic Party is working to increase the chances of former local news anchor Kari Lake. She has declared that she would not have certified the 2020 election results and she also has former President Trump’s endorsement.
The Democratic Party believes that she would be an easier opponent for the Democrats to defeat in the November general election.
Josselyn Berry, a spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party, wrote as an endorsement of Lake, “As the Republican primary for governor continues to stir toxic infighting, the Arizona Democratic Party will always be grateful for Robson’s longtime support in helping elect Democrats up and down the ballot, including this November.”
Karrin Taylor Robson is Lake’s opponent and made past donations to Democratic candidates.
Will this strategy work? It is certainly some risky political business, and it is not new.
Maybe the Democrats should have studied what happened with the same strategy in 1966. In the re-election campaign of Democratic California Gov. Pat Brown, his team decided to help a political novice on the GOP side. They believed the newbie would be easy to defeat in the general election. Who was this newbie? Ronald Reagan.
He went on to win the governor’s mansion, the hearts of America, the White House, and ultimately the cause of the conservatives for decades.
Could that happen again in 2022? Well, the limited polling that has been done to date has Shapiro only leading Mastriano by 3 or 4 points, well within the margin of error.
If Lake wins the Arizona GOP gubernatorial primary, she has a legit chance of winning in her purple state where the party is strong and Biden’s approval is weak. Remember, America is facing the worst inflation in 40 years. And let’s not even talk about the pain at the pump.
Can you imagine the sense of defeat in the Democratic Party if the candidates they spent money on eventually win? How could they retain their position regarding the danger of the far-right if they have supported them?
Gov. Hogan, the GOP governor who is retiring, told “Meet the Press” earlier this month, “The Democratic Party is talking about, you know, defending democracy. But they’re spending tens of millions of dollars to promote, you know, conspiracy theory-believing” candidates.
This risky business politically has mostly been done by Democrats. Back in 1966, Brown’s team even leaked damaging information about Reagan’s opposition in his party. The former mayor of San Francisco, a dairy owner, had been convicted of milk price-fixing.
That helped Reagan win the primary in a landslide. His popularity never waned. Maybe candidates like Mastirano and Lake will “win another one for the Gipper!