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Jonathan Bernstein

Think First, Democrats, Before Helping Extreme Republicans

Meddling in GOP primaries to boost weak general-election candidates can sometimes be smart politics, but not when it could hurt a Michigan congressman who voted to impeach Trump.

Michigan Republican, national Democrat.

Michigan Republican, national Democrat.

Photographer: Carolyn Kaster/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Why are Democrats boosting an extremist candidate challenging incumbent Republican US Representative Peter Meijer in a Michigan primary election?

The Democrats have been using the same strategy in primary after primary. “Criticize” a fringe-y candidate for being “too conservative” in advertising intended to help that candidate with Republican primary voters — the ones who love to find the most conservative candidate.