Nearly three months into the midterm election year, Democrat operatives appeared to have narrowed in on a midterm strategy: saving Democrat governors in “critical battleground” states in November.
As the primary election season for the upcoming midterm elections has already started as of last Tuesday, a Politico article indicated that Democrat operatives have finally told their donors what they want the midterm strategy to be, which is to protect their governors. The operatives, according to Politico, have started to worry about the possibility of losing Democrat governors in “critical battleground” states.
“Democrats are expanding their scope far beyond congressional contests and on to governor races in battleground states, seeing them as existential for the party’s presidential prospects, if not democratic governance itself,” the report said. It noted that Democrat party leaders, donors, and leading super PACs were already ready to prioritize the gubernatorial races.
However, the focus on governors has “intensified” after Politico argued that Republicans tried to overturn the election and the Democrats’ election takeover bills failed in Congress.
Cooper Teboe, a donor adviser based in Silicon Valley, told Politico he’s “seen a real shift” among the donor class turning away from the DNC and the DCCC and started to put their money behind governors: “I’d say 50 to 60 percent of them are now putting that same effort into governors, and I expect that group of donors to only grow.”
This has started to happen in crucial battleground states, such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — all states where President Joe Biden barely beat out former President Donald Trump — with the money also starting to seep into the secretary of state and attorney general races, the report noted. Seeing a push from donors has the potential of helping long-shot candidates for the state positions instead of backing candidates for the House and Senate.
Politico added that some of the push to prioritize the gubernatorial races come from the Democrat operatives acknowledging that they will lose the House after the midterms and see a federal realignment happen:
Democrats contend that they can prioritize governor’s offices as well as the races for state elections chiefs without it coming at the expense of Senate and House contests. But quietly, some in the party view the increased focus on governor contests as at least a tacit acknowledgement that they’re unlikely to keep control of the House in 2023.
Amongst donors, “there’s a real pessimism” for “the federal outlook in 2022,” said one New York-based Democratic donor adviser. A Washington, D.C.-based bundler said that “‘save the House’ messaging is not working on high-level donors because no one believes it.”
Overshadowing all these considerations is the party’s failure to pass voting rights legislation this past year. Without legislative action, Democrats are hoping that governors can serve as a blockade of sorts on GOP-led laws to further dial back pandemic-era voting expansions, restrict voting access and curtail particulation in future elections.
With donors also having a helping hand in the governors’ races, they also feel out the possibility of 2024 presidential nominees if Biden does not run for another term, or at the very least “the next generation of Democratic leadership,” as a New York Democrat donor said to Politico, floating the possibility of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper or Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.