The Democrats’ unorthodox strategy of pushing conservative and far-right Republican primary candidates in Colorado in order to face potentially weaker opponents in November fell flat on Tuesday.
Three GOP candidates who were boosted by funding from Democratic campaign groups all lost their races in The Rocky Mountain State, which is serving as a testing ground for the Democrats’ move to favor candidates that they believe would repulse moderate or independent voters and stem forecasted losses for the party in the midterm elections.
Rep. Ron Hanks lost the GOP Senate primary to moderate Colorado businessman Joe O’Dea. Former state Rep. Lori Saine lost to Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer in the state’s new 8th Congressional district. And Greg Lopez was defeated by businesswoman Heidi Ganahl in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
The Democratic Colorado Super PAC has dropped at least $2.5 million on the GOP Senate primary, airing ads designed to promote Hanks’ candidacy by calling him “too conservative for Colorado,” highlighting his positions on abortion and whether Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
As for Lopez, the Democratic Governors Association ran its own paid content about the far-right candidate, calling him “too conservative,” according to the Denver Post. The group in a statement told the Denver Post Lopez was “too extreme and out-of-touch” but would not answer questions why they would attempt to help Lopez in the short term.
Finally, in the 8th House race, Saine got financial backing from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s PAC. Kirkmeyer got 40% of the vote while Saine only received 19.6% with 97% of the votes tallied.
Saine was boosted by $46,000 in TV ads by the Pelosi-run House Majority PAC. The ads highlighted Saine’s support for former President Donald Trump’s voter fraud claims in 2020, as well as her anti-abortion and pro-gun rights stances.
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