It is way early to be thinking about the 2022 midterm elections for most Americans, but members of Congress who intend to run for reelection are already focused on it.
That is especially true of swing-district Democrats, many of whom are nervously watching the Biden regime’s massive leftward lurch because they believe it’s going to negatively affect them.
As such, they are quietly making moves they hope will help shield them from an expected onslaught of accusations by Republicans looking to unseat them that they, too, are really part of the Democratic Party’s increasing shift towards socialism.
At least three swing district Democrats have rejected or are going to return donations they received from a political action committee belonging to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-avowed Democratic socialist from New York.
As the midterm campaign’s first fundraising deadline approached this week, several vulnerable House Democrats got an unwelcome surprise in their accounts: $5,000 from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The New York Democrat sent the contributions to her colleagues to help keep the House majority ahead of a tough cycle without directly contributing to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with which she’s publicly clashed. But Ocasio-Cortez’s largesse — and an oversight at the campaign headquarters — has instead raised awkward questions among her colleagues as some swing-district Democrats fret over whether to return her money before the GOP can turn it into an attack ad.
Some members whose campaigns got unexpected Ocasio-Cortez cash are seeking answers directly from DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and his top staffers. DCCC aides gave lawmakers’ wire transfer information to Ocasio-Cortez’s aides without the approval of more senior officials, according to multiple people familiar with the contributions.
But there is a danger, politically speaking, anyway, even if lawmakers return their AOC cash. That’s because her name will no doubt appear on Federal Election Commission reports when they come out later this month, and that’s the kind of ammo that an opponent’s campaign will use — even if they don’t mention that said Democratic incumbent returned the money.
And anything that AOC’s name is attached to is political kerosene for Democrats who don’t want to appear as far-left as she is.
“While some are grateful for the infusion of cash, at least three Democrats have so far either declined the initial transfer or said they would return the money: Reps. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, according to multiple sources,” Politico reported.
Several people who spoke to the outlet said that passing along AOC’s cash was an unforced error by the DCCC.
“We appreciate Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s ongoing commitment to a Democratic majority. Due to a miscommunication, some transfers were made in error, but that has been addressed,” a spokesperson told Politico.
Added a Dem consultant who works with swing-state members, “The GOP has spent four years saying the frontliners are all socialists. Now they’ve got the receipts to prove it. Anyone telling themselves this won’t be in campaign ads is in denial.”
In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson early last month, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted dozens of Democrats are going to have a hard time defending the White House’s leftward lurch, let alone money from AOC.
“I think … they’ve given up on keeping the House,” Gingrich said. “What they’re doing is ramming through everything they can get done before they lose in 2022. This is kind of a sprint to radicalism even though it’s going to cost, if you look at these votes … [they’ll] have 30, 40, 50 members who are not going to be able to defend them.”