home > archive > 2022 > this article


Democrats are successfully pushing unelectable candidates in our primaries to stop the red wave this fall

By Rachel Alexander
web posted August 8, 2022

Do some of these MAGA candidates seem too good to be true? That’s because they are. They violate the rule crafted by the late William F. Buckley Jr. known as the “Buckley rule.” It says to support the candidate the furthest to the right who is electable. This is why a lot of conservatives suck it up and stick with the GOP instead of defecting to an obscure third party where no one gets elected. 

But the left, always one step ahead outsmarting us, has figured out how to make unelectable fringe candidates look so appealing that people forget the rule. They are pouring money — $44 million this year — into our primary races to help candidates who probably aren’t electable in the general, and are re-registering to vote in our primaries. The Washington Examiner declared in July, “Democrats have been awfully active in the 2022 Republican primaries.”

While pollsters were once confidently predicting a GOP sweep this fall, possibly taking back the U.S. Senate, this is no longer so. Democrats have figured out that they can help fringe candidates falsely label solid conservatives as RINOs. They’ve been assisted in a few races by Donald Trump, who thought he was doing the right thing in some of these races endorsing candidates, but was fed bad info by people he trusted.  

In Illinois, Democrats spent millions attacking a black Republican mayor running for governor, Richard Irvin, in order to boost State Sen. Darren Bailey. Irvin’s campaign said Democrats spent over $31 million in attack ads, with at least $13 million from the Democratic Governors Association and $6 million directly from Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Once Bailey got Trump’s endorsement, it was all over and he defeated Irvin. One of the few polls in that race shows Bailey losing to Pritzker by nine points.

In Maryland, the Democratic Governors Association spent money to help Dan Cox defeat former Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz. Schulz worked in the administration of Gov. Larry Hogan, who surprisingly got elected in the Democratic state, so she was expected to have a good shot at keeping the GOP legacy going. Instead, Cox got Trump’s endorsement and won, and is widely expected to lose to the Democrats’ charismatic Wes Moore, who will become the state’s first black governor if elected. Hogan lamented, "Trump is trying to insert himself in races all across the country where people he's supporting are crazy.” 

In Pennsylvania, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running for governor, spent $840,000 to boost his GOP challenger State Sen. Doug Mastriano over former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta. Trump endorsed Mastriano and he easily won. A Fox News poll from a little over a week ago shows Mastriano ten points behind Shapiro. 

Democrats were unsuccessful in Colorado, however, spending millions to bolster fringy candidates that went nowhere as all three lost their primary races. And some of their spending did attack truly awful Republican candidates, such as Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan and Rep. David Valadao of California, two of ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. Valadao won despite their efforts, but Meijer lost to former Trump official John Gibbs. 

Democrats merely needed to change voter registration in Arizona to ensure one fringe candidate won. Conservatives there are so wary after years of the late Sen. John McCain that they are quick to jump on the bandwagon calling anyone a RINO. For example, Rep. David Schweikert, who has an outstanding lifetime rating of 96 from the American Conservative Union, is frequently called a RINO despite the fact he’s been able to maintain that voting record in what is now the most competitive district in the state.

Blake Masters
Blake Masters

Funded by four out-of-state billionaires, trainwreck U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters bashed his original main opponent, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich as a RINO and used his boss Peter Thiel to get Trump’s endorsement. After he won, betting markets flipped and started predicting Republicans would not win back the Senate this fall. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly has raised over $50 million and appears poised to raise $100 million just like he did in 2020.

Kelly defeated Sen. Martha McSally, a weak candidate who had been appointed to the Senate seat over the objections of conservatives by Gov. Doug Ducey, by over two points in 2020. At this point in the election cycle two years ago, polls had McSally behind by as little as two points. In contrast, polls currently show Masters performing far worse, losing in double digits, with a poll commissioned by his own supporters showing him down five points. 

According to CNN, Trump almost stopped endorsing candidates in the primary in May due to how problematic it was, holding off on endorsing Masters until June. Republicans broke records voting in the Arizona primary, due to all the crossover Democrat votes. In fact, in 2022 so many Democrats re-registered as independents in order to vote in the GOP primary that the numbers of independents not only outnumbered Democrats but even outnumbered Republicans in Maricopa County, and while Republicans and independents increased their percentages statewide, Democrats decreased theirs.

Other candidates that were able to finagle a Trump endorsement but who might lose the general election include Senate candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio and Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. Vance, who got Trump’s endorsement in part due to Thiel just like Masters, is trailing Rep. Tim Ryan by nine points in the latest poll. Mehmet is trailing Mayor John Fetterman by 14 points. 

These candidates could cause other solid Republican candidates to lose. Independent swing voters who might not necessarily vote will have a visceral reaction to some of the worst GOP candidates, getting them out to vote anti-Republican all down the ballot.  

It’s time to stop rushing to support and endorse anyone who calls themselves MAGA or America First just because they have money, an insider connection and labels their opponent a RINO. Don’t be fooled, we’re getting played. ESR

Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative . She has been published in the American Spectator,, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, Enter Stage Right and other publications.


Ornate Line


Site Map

E-mail ESR


© 1996-2023, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.