The GOP just wasted $10 million ousting a safe Republican incumbent

News & Politics

Liberal and moderate Republicans joined forces with former President Donald Trump to oust House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good in last week’s Virginia primary, with the long slog appearing to end Monday with Good still 373 votes behind his challenger, John McGuire.

His scalp didn’t come cheap. A conservative stalwart who won his last election by 15 points, Good had the backing of House and Senate conservatives as well as grassroots activists.

‘This was a targeted assassination.’

Republican groups spent $5.9 million to oust the safe incumbent in the lead-up to a 2024 election in which congressional Democrats have outraised Republicans by 25% — and hold a 20% cash-on-hand advantage.

Main Street PAC, the political arm of the liberal Republican Main Street Caucus, spent $451,990 on the race — or just over 20% of all the money the PAC has raised for 2024 so far.

American Patriots, a super PAC funded by pro-Nikki Haley megadonors Paul Singer and Ken Griffin, spent more than anyone in the race, sending $3.4 million against Good and for his opponent, John McGuire.

Major Republican and Trump donor Marjorie Buckley set up Virginians for Freedom PAC to weigh in from out of state, putting another $762,000 toward knocking Good out of Congress.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, meanwhile, remained on the sidelines — a contrast with his support for other embattled incumbents, including liberals like Rep. Tony Gonzales (Texas), conservatives like Rep. William Timmons (S.C.), and scattershot members like Rep. Nancy Mace (S.C.).

Ron DeSantis also stayed out of the race, even though Trump’s ire at Good was largely due to Good’s endorsement of the Florida governor’s presidential bid.

Good wasn’t lacking in Republican allies so much as he was rich in Republican enemies. Conservatives in the House, Senate, and grassroots mustered more than $4.8 million in his defense, keeping the race close despite Trump’s vocal support for McGuire.

The reality is that Good’s opponents were determined to make an example of the rabble-rouser. In an environment where voters’ weariness of infighting has created a surprisingly safe year for incumbents, he was both a more prominent and a weaker target than other Republicans who had gone against then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), or who sided with DeSantis, or who went against liberal Republicans in their own primaries, or who opposed further spending on the foreign wars in Israel and Ukraine.

“You’ve got to fight fire with fire,” Main Street Caucus member Rep. Don Bacon (Neb.) told reporters after endorsing McGuire. Good had endorsed Bacon’s opponent in his own primary.

“This was a targeted assassination,” one GOP staffer told Blaze News.

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IN OTHER NEWS

The Squad’s Jamaal Bowman goes down in fiery N.Y. primary

Squad Democrats tempted to toast Good’s downfall might be mindful for whom the bell tolls: In New York’s 16th Congressional District, it tolls for thee.

Left-wing Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman lost a heated primary Tuesday night to Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Latimer was backed by millions from the powerful American Israel PAC, as well as by former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former New York Democrat Govs. David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo, and former Rep. Eliot Engel (D), whom Bowman defeated in 2020.

The Squad first hit the stage in 2018, backed by a surge of Trump derangement. In the years since, they’ve spent Democrats’ political capital freely on radical experiments like “defund the police” and “abolish ICE,” successfully pressuring the broader party into compliance or at least lip service. These utopian schemes grew unpopular with the voters when the results became clear, however, leaving Democrats holding the bag and Squad members increasingly unpopular with their colleagues. By the time Bowman sided with Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack, even his liberal constituents had had enough.

Bowman tried to beat back accusations that he was more interested in the cause and the fame than the district by, ironically, holding a cringeworthy, R-rated rally outside his district with Squad leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“We’re going to show f***ing AIPAC the power of the motherf***ing South Bronx,” Bowman told the crowd. Trump, for his part, drew nearly 10 times the roughly 1,200 attendees the Squad drew. Also, Bowman does not represent the South Bronx — his district begins nearly 10 miles to the north of where the rally was held.

With $25 million spent for and against Bowman, it’s become the most expensive primary in House of Representatives history. No matter. You can start your watches (and start taking bets) for how long it takes New York 16’s outgoing congressman to call his constituents racist.

Liberal Republican wins race to succeed Mitt Romney

Utah saw its own mini-drama Tuesday night, with Rep. John Curtis besting Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs in the race to replace retiring Sen. Mitt Romney, a liberal Republican and frequent Trump critic.

Curtis, a Democrat turned liberal Republican, is best known for founding the House’s Conservative Climate Caucus, which seeks to paint over liberal policies with Republican paint. He heavily outraised Staggs, who was endorsed not only by Trump but by Utah’s senior senator, Mike Lee.

The fire rises: The Transom: Democrats Believe Abortion Will Save Them in 2024 — but Will It?

Tuesday may have marked the two-year anniversary of the end of Roe v. Wade, but it also marked the beginning of two years of steady Democrat gains. Since the Dobbs ruling, the pro-life movement has proven itself unprepared, Republicans have struggled to unify on a stand, and Democrats have capitalized, turning out voters to defend vulnerable incumbents and take difficult seats. Polling shows the fire in the belly may be cooling, however, as the initial confusion fades and the wildest Democrat rhetoric goes unrealized. Ben Domenech reports:

…There’s no question abortion was central in the 2022 midterms: Gallup found it was the second most important issue for voters the week before the election, with many Republicans caught off guard and incapable of putting out good messaging on the subject. But now, things have changed. In Gallup’s more recent polling, just 3 percent list it as a top issue. It may now have more be shifting to have an impact along the lines of gun politics — a motivator for the Democratic base, but with less appeal to independents and swing voters as a deciding factor. It’s hard to read the numbers above and see any significant portion of lost votes for Republicans at the moment…

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