From 1946 to 2018, fewer than two percent of primary challengers to sitting members of the House of Representatives have successfully ousted the incumbent.
But Michigan Republican candidate John Gibbs’ narrow and otherwise unlikely primary victory over first-term Rep. Peter Meijer was bolstered by an unusual ally: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which dropped nearly half a million dollars—more than Gibbs’ campaign spent in its entirety—on an “attack” ad designed to sell Gibbs to the GOP base.
The ad described Gibbs as “too conservative” for his district and touted his many ties to former President Donald Trump, whom Meijer voted to impeach after the storming of the Capitol in January of 2021. And though there was little public polling on this primary, what data we do have from a February poll suggests linking Gibbs to Trump was an effective way to boost his chances. That survey found Meijer held a comfortable 26-13 lead over Gibbs—until pollsters informed respondents of the candidates’ takes on Trump, at which point Gibbs surged to 37 percent support and Meijer plummeted to 19 percent.
Source: The Daily Beast
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