Final Weeks: Democrats Launch Dirty Tricks, False Claims Against GOP Senate Candidates

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Posted: Oct 20, 2020 10:25 AM
Final Weeks: Democrats Launch Dirty Tricks, False Claims Against GOP Senate Candidates

Source: Caroline Brehman/Pool Photo via AP

It's crunch time in this election season, and dirty tricks are starting to fly, across the board. Democrats are eager to win back the US Senate, and they're pulling out all the stops -- including vastly outspending Republicans down the stretch. In Michigan, where John James faces an uphill battle against incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, Chuck Schumer & Co. are at least sufficiently nervous to be pumping cash into the race at this late stage. Several recent polls show a tightening race, with Peters underperforming Joe Biden. Perhaps that's why party operatives and their media allies kicked their messaging machine into high gear to share this clip far and wide, aiming to portray James as unable to answer questions about healthcare policy. Here's Pete Buttigieg's husband amplifying the video (I'll leave it to others to discuss his decision to frame this as laziness from James):


What this clip edits out is the rest of James' answer, which acknowledges the problem and names several specific policy proposals he's endorsed to help alleviate high-cost burdens while still covering people with pre-existing conditions (James' own son has a pre-existing condition):


You can knock his full response for not being comprehensive, or specific enough, or sufficient to tackle the problem on policy grounds. But if you're deliberately omitting the portion of his reply that deals in policy particulars, in order to accuse him of having no specific plans, you're being dishonest. James -- a businessman and former Army helicopter pilot -- recently shot back at Joe Biden, who called the GOP Senate nominee "a disaster":


I also saw tweets over the weekend from verified "blue checkmark" accounts circulating what appeared to be a significant development in the (extremely close) Iowa Senate race. The Iowa Farm Bureau had rescinded its endorsement of incumbent Republican Joni Ernst, shifting to a neutral position in the contest. Democratic groups reveled in the news. The only problem? It was fake:

Ernst has been hitting her Democratic challenger hard on issues like illegal immigration and the Supreme Court:

In South Carolina, Lindsey Graham's race-baiting Democratic opponent is spending some of his unprecedented mountain of cash trying to trick conservative voters into supporting a right-wing candidate who has dropped out of the race and endorsed Graham. Democrats are trying to convince a subsection of very conservative voters to throw their votes away on behalf of a candidate who is no longer in the race, but whose name will remain on the ballot, which may be Harrison's only shot at defeating Graham:


Harrison's racially-focused evasions on packing the Supreme Court were inscrutable compared to Gov. Steve Bullock's answer. Bullock was recruited by Schumer to run against GOP incumbent Steve Daines in Montana, and the race is highly competitive. At a recent debate, the Democratic nominee expressed openness to the radical idea of packing the Court with new seats. Daines is firmly against any such scheme and strongly supports confirming Amy Coney Barrett:


Two weeks out. Every single competitive Senate race matters. I'll leave you with this, out of North Carolina: