Democrats using nasty GOP primary against US Senate nominee
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — could Indiana’s nasty Republican U.S. Senate primary hurt the GOP nominee in the general election?
Democrats are already rolling out ads against Mike Braun saying his own party doesn’t support him.
I took no time for words used during the four Republican U.S. Senate primary debates to backfire on the GOP.
An ad from American Bridge, a Democrat-affiliated political action committee, was uploaded to YouTube less than 24 hours after Braun took the stage at his victory party to accept the nomination.
The Indiana Democratic Party (IDP) picked up on that strategy too.
“We wanted to show that Mike Braun is going to have a hard time winning over voters if he can’t even win over members of his own party who have been skeptical of him or who have been outright hostile towards him,” said Michael Feldman, a spokesman for IDP.
IDP released an ad of its own, using Congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita’s own words against the guy they said they would support.
While Hoosier Republicans say Thursday’s rally in Elkhart led by President Donald Trump was proof the party is on the same page, Feldman says he doesn’t believe it, especially considering only one of Braun’s primary opponents showed up.
“I think what this means is that this party is still far from unified,” said Feldman.
But do those ads matter to voters?
“Democrats have to be very careful that they’re not feeding into something that implemented something that has already been tested and resolved,” said Darren Davis, Notre Dame political science professor.
Prof. Davis says turning their own comments on the GOP in the age of soundbite-driven politics is just another form of negative campaigning.
It’s not new to elections but it’s fairly unique in this senate race.
He says all three Republican candidates aggressively attacked each other in an effort to become more like President Trump, who won the state by 19-points in 2016.
He believes they thought that could galvanize the president’s supporters.
Considering they’ve heard it before, Prof. Davis believes replaying the rhetoric used during the primary might not be too effective.
“Democrats will have to figure out what is the particular messaging,” he said. “The Republicans have to figure out what is the best way to mobilize voters.”
Josh Kelly, a spokesperson for Mike Braun’s camp, dismissed the ads. He said in part in a statement:
“Joe Donnelly and the Democrats are desperate. After President Trump gave Mike Braun a huge boost last week, Democrat Donnelly knows his days are numbered.”
Pete Seat, spokesman for the Indiana’s Republican Party said in a statement:
“A few comments made during a contentious primary won’t distract from Democrat Joe Donnelly’s decade-long record of championing Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s liberal priorities.”
However, both ads aren’t affiliated with Donnelly’s campaign.
He said in a statement, he’d prefer to spend his energy getting his message out to voters in all 92 counties. Part of the statement read:
“I’ve always believed the best political campaign that I can run is to just do my job and work every single day in a bipartisan, commonsense way to deliver for the people of Indiana.”