“Where megadonors are spending big money to shape the Democratic Party’s future”

When the main elections that matter are the primaries — from Politico:

House Democratic primaries are drawing record cash — even as they’re almost guaranteed to lose their majority.

Super PACs and other organizations have already dropped more than $53 million in Democratic House primaries this year, according to OpenSecrets, with four more months of nominating contests to go. The outside spending has zoomed past the approximately $30 million spent in each of 2018 and 2020, much of it focused on safely blue seats, where different wings of the Democratic Party are battling to elect primary winners likely to go to Congress — and stay there for years.

The combatants include everything from industry groups to progressive organizations like Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party — and, especially, super PACs backing more moderate candidates, like one formed by AIPAC and another supported by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. Even with Democrats likely to be in a relatively powerless House minority next year, they are trying to shape the future of the party in Congress to a degree not seen before….

There’s far, far more spending than we’ve ever seen before and that’s for two reasons,” said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who is working with the Democratic Majority for Israel super PAC, which has dropped cash backing candidates in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas. “One, because the number of competitive districts has declined dramatically, most members are now selected in primaries, so primaries become more important. Second, people looked at Ohio’s 11th special [in 2021] and said, ‘it’s possible to intervene and really make a difference.’”…

Hoffman is among the big Democratic donors also wading into a pair of upcoming House primaries, under the banner of a super PAC called Mainstream Democrats. The group is boosting a pair of moderate incumbents, Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), in their primary challenges from the left.

“Democrats and Democrat-aligned groups are finally catching up with Republicans in understanding the importance of electing the strongest candidates in primaries,” said Morgan Jackson, a longtime Democratic strategist.

Of course, Jackson added, “depending on who you’re talking to, the ‘strongest’ candidate changes.”

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