The North Carolina Senate election race, pitting incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and a yet-to-be-determined Democratic Party candidate, is a crucial Senate election in the Democratic Party’s push to regain a Senate majority. Democrats accused an allegedly Republican-backed political action committee of interfering in its party primary to elevate a weaker candidate to the general election. But Politico put the Democratic Party’s narrative to rest with a history lesson.
The Democratic Party backed Cal Cunningham, a former state lawmaker and military veteran, over State Sen. Erica Smith. Smith’s campaign is allegedly getting a boost from a Republican-backed PAC called “Faith and Power PAC, which spent millions of dollars on backing Smith, who is perceived as the weaker general election candidate due to her progressive political views.
Smith condemned the alleged GOP intervention, but it has not stopped the PAC from running ads promoting her as a viable candidate.
Several Democratic lawmakers condemned Faith and Power PAC and its alleged Republican backers, such as Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Kaine called the tactic “brazen and obvious,” while Tester said if Smith won, “it makes it much tougher” to win the Senate seat.
But Politico put the Democratic Party’s narrative to rest and noted that Democrats have also used this tactic in past elections. It pointed out, “Democrats have used similar tactics in past Senate races in Missouri and West Virginia to elevate weak Republicans but decry the practice in their own internal politics.” For example, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) admitted to spending $1.7 million in the Republican primary to elevate a weaker general election Republican candidate named Todd Akin. She called it “the biggest gamble of my political career” and won re-election in the 2012 Senate election.
No one has proven whether the Faith and Power PAC has GOP ties, but it did not stop Democratic Party lawmakers from condemning the GOP’s alleged interference in their primary election. Yet Politico debunked this narrative and exposed the Democratic Party’s hypocrisy on primary election interference. Both political parties have used similar political strategies before and unless a law is passed to outlaw it, it will most likely continue in the future.