National Democrats spent $54 million to support Trump-backed Republican primary candidates. They knew that they would be less competitive against Democratic incumbents in purple and blue states than Democrats. They were more successful than they could have imagined.
The primary candidates that the Democrats supported for the general election were defeated by the vast majority of them. This is also true for the New Hampshire race where Sen. Maggie Hassan, a vulnerable incumbent Democrat, was able to defeat a Trump-backed candidate. Many Republicans wanted Chuck Morse, the GOP state senator who was supported by the popular Republican Governor. Chris Sununu won that primary. Sununu was elected re-election by 16 points. Bolduc nearly pulled off the upset, as it turned out.
The GOP candidates supported by Democrats were fine. They would have won easily in red states. They were not the right candidates to run for unfriendly states. To get the desired outcome, Democrats used primaries to manipulate Republican primary voters and Democrats controlled the results.
They used manipulation to keep Sununu and Arizona Governor, two popular candidates, in place. Doug Ducey sat on the sidelines, rather than running for the Senate.
New York Times
It is difficult to know how much the Democrats’ interference made. Some Republicans and their allies Sununu claim that other factors, including shared disapproval for the Senate, and perhaps presidential ambitions, were more important to their calculations.
Their decisions to not run are etched in the rearview mirror. Trump’s unproven candidates were a major reason why Republicans failed to retake the Senate. The recriminations have begun to fly.
Ultimately, Democratic meddling resulted in six primary winners — none of whom had any experience working for the government.
All of them struggled to raise funds, create campaign infrastructures, or appeal to independent voters. Walker’s race will be going to a runoff next month, and Vance was the only winner.
McConnell complained publicly in August about Trump’s “quality” candidates. This was amid a long feud with Scott over strategy, tactics, and money.
Republicans are having a public debate about who is responsible for losing the Senate. The conservative elites blame Trump, his allies blame McConnell, and Scott and McConnell’s allies blame one another.
McConnell was criticized for his comments and is being held responsible for the party’s losses in the midterm elections. McConnell was right to point out that McConnell did have experience running campaigns, which is a key “quality” for running for office. Bolduc, Oz, and Masters, the biggest Republican Senate losers, were unable to overcome their inexperience in running winning campaigns. All of them ran against Democrats in winnable elections in an election year in which the intangibles strongly favored Republicans, even though the abortion issue was a major motivator for Democratic voters.
They failed. McConnell was to blame? His ambiguity towards his own candidates was a problem. His strategic misallocations of funds from his PAC were also contributing factors to the losses.
Democrats must stop trying to influence the Republican primary process. GOP leaders should call out Democrats for their unprofessional attempt to manipulate voters.