Where It Works
Right now the spotlight is on all the Congressional primaries. And for good reason, we’re watching MAGA death matches take place across the country. It’s good television and absolutely terrible for our democracy. You’re going to start hearing more from me about the state-level races and today I want to focus on a race that hasn’t gotten much national attention, but could serve as a guide for how the Democrats need to play the 2020 midterms.
Michigan recently held a special election to fill a seat for District 74 of the Michigan House of Representatives. Trump beat Biden by a 28 point margin in 2020, and predictably in this race a Trumpian cretan slogged his way out of a crowded GOP primary.
We’ve heard this story before right? Republicans nominate someone who is so outside the mainstream that they wouldn’t have even been considered for representative office 7 years ago. But since it’s a safe Trump district, they get elected and our democracy doom spiral continues.
But this time was different. This time, the Trump Republican (R.J. Regan) was defeated by a relatively unknown Democratic named Carol Glanville. In a district that Trump won by 28 points in 2020!
How did Regan completely blow this seemingly easy primary? Well part of it was because he’s a complete bigot and shared disgusting comments about sexual assault.
But again, we’ve seen bigots say horrible things and still get elected to higher office (see: Trump, Donald). This one was different because the Michigan Democrats ran a strong ground game, telling voters exactly how extremist and unelectable Regan was. Then Glanville ran a campaign focused on popular positions and was clearly the competent return to normalcy the district was looking for. It was a contrast that worked and exposed unabashed Trumpianism for exactly what it is.
Will it work in every Trump +28 district? Definitely not, but we’ve got enough Trumpian candidates running for seats across the country where Democrats can capitalize on their extremist opponent and win with a strong candidate that shows how that community can return to “normal.”. The result is that Democrats can defend their Congressional majorities and make gains in statehouses across the country.
It. Can. Happen.