With the midterms just seven months away, Democrats are still hammering out a campaign strategy that they hope will help them stave off Republican control of the House.
According to a report from Politico’s Sarah Ferris and Nichola Wu, Democratic leaders are divided, with one camp wanting to make the 2022 election about achievements under President Joe Biden and another camp wanting to turn prominent — and controversial — Republicans into boogeymen who will scare voters into turning out to reject the Donald Trump years.
As the report notes, Trump has a certain appeal to Democrats as their central “villain” who provides them with daily fodder that turns off voters as seen by his loss in 2020 as an incumbent, but other Republican targets also hold promise as effective campaign talking points.
Chief among them are Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Matt Gaetz R-Fla., and Madison Cawthorn R-N.C., – providing he survives his primary.
According to Politico, Gaetz and Greene may end up being the focus of Democrats.
“We still have a villain. We’ll have to remind people of what that was like. And that sure scares the hell out of me,” Rep. Scott Peters D-Calif., explained with the report adding, “Focusing on Trump and other GOP rabble-rousers will hardly be the only item in Democrats’ midterm playbook this year. The party would much rather run on what they’ve gotten done with their two years in power, particularly in battlegrounds. But some Democrats still acknowledge that perhaps the best way to gin up their base is a time-honored trick that Trump himself has mastered: fear.”
While Rep Ted Lieu D-Calif., has already announced he plans to make Cawthorn the “face and voice of the @HouseGOP,” the report adds that Greene and Gaetz will also likely feature prominently in the Democrats’ attacks.
“Some frontline members are privately entertaining some campaign focus on the House GOP’s biggest firebrands, including Cawthorn and Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Their argument: Things may not be going great for Democrats, but wouldn’t it be worse the other way?” Politico reports.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., was blunt in describing how Democrats will use the far-right conservatives in ads.
“I mean, do you want to hand the keys to the government to these folks?” he explained before adding. “They’re scary. They’re nuts.”
The report goes on to point out that Republican scandals related to the Jan 6th insurrection could also play a part in their attack strategy.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., explained, “I do think the Ginni Thomas stuff, the Mo Brooks — all that helps our turnout a lot because people are excited.”