Senate Democrats say GOP roster full of ‘flawed and deeply damaged candidates’

·3 min read

Senate Democrats believe they are in a good position for the midterm elections about 100 days out from November because Republicans are leaning on “a roster of flawed and deeply damaged candidates,” according to a campaign memo published Sunday by Politico.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) memo, sent out via email, says that while “Democrats are running strong, battle-tested incumbents and challengers,” the GOP is backing candidates who “who bring disqualifying personal and political baggage to the general election.”

“Democrats have put the GOP firmly on the defensive in Senate races, and the candidate vs. candidate dynamic in these campaigns has become a major liability for Republicans,” the memo from DSCC Executive Director Christie Roberts reads.

The Hill has reached out to the Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for comment.

The DSCC memo provides links to stories about the “flawed” candidates, including former NFL star Herschel Walker, who is running for a seat in Georgia but has been beset by allegations he embellished his business successes and fathered three children he had not previously publicly disclosed.

Another candidate in stories shared by the DSCC includes celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, whose anti-abortion stance and other controversies now see him trailing in the polls to Democratic challenger John Fetterman in Pennsylvania.

The DSCC also pointed to J.D. Vance, who is running for a Senate seat in Ohio. Vance has received heightened scrutiny after he compared abortion to slavery in an October interview.

Democrats are eager to campaign on abortion rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s stunning reversal of Roe v. Wade last month, as well as gun control after a spate of mass shootings rocked the nation this year.

The party is also pitching its candidates on core issues, such as efforts to to lower health care costs and tackle climate change, which comes after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced last week an agreement on a historic spending package that, in part, deals with climate.

The DSCC memo suggests these priorities give them a moral high ground of sorts over GOP candidates, who they say are pushing to ban abortion as well as end popular programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Still, Republicans are seizing on economic woes like sky-high inflation, the most pressing issue for Americans in recent polling, ahead of the November elections.

Last week, the second quarter gross domestic product results showed the economy contracted negatively for the second time this year, a sign of a recession for most economists. Inflation is also at a 40-year high.

With all that in mind, a FiveThiryEight election forecast shows Democrats have a higher chance of winning the Senate, although forecasters note the GOP still has plenty of time to make gains.

Financially, Democrats are also raising records amount of money following the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion. The NRSC has about $28.5 million cash on hand compared to the DSCC, which has more than $53 million on hand.

Roberts said Democrats are “firing on all cylinders” while the GOP candidates struggle to relay their messaging and overcome controversy, predicting that it would put Democrats on the path toward victory.

“While Republicans are pledging to ban abortion nationally, raise taxes and end programs like Medicare and Social Security,” Roberts wrote, “Senate Democrats are fighting to lower costs, improve our supply chains, and are focusing on the issues that matter most to working families.”

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