Democrats have no shortage of candidates running for office in 2018, but a series of competitive primary races could seriously lower their chances of winning.
The high volume of Democratic candidates competing for the party’s nomination in 2018 has the potential to eat away at the candidate’s campaign funds and detract from messaging that would garner much needed moderate votes in a run-off with a Republican candidate.
“You’re spending money earlier than you want to, you’re campaigning to a different audience than you need for the general election — and most stressful for the DCCC, you can’t guarantee the outcome of the primary,” former top Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) staffer told Talking Points Memo.
Look no further than the House election in Virginia, where five Democrats are looking to take on Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in her Democratic-leaning district just outside of D.C. All of these candidates have raised in excess of $200,000, a sum that could dwindle quickly in a hotly contested Democratic primary race.
A number of races, in California and Illinois, have at least two Democratic candidates running to challenge Republican incumbents.
The surge in Democratic candidates comes after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a nationwide campaign in May called “Onward Together,” that encourages progressive men and women to run for office.
The DCCC does not appear to be concerned about the possibility that having too many candidates might backfire.
“No side has ever lost an election because of too much energy, that much is clear. Ultimately the Democrats are the side with the energy while Republicans are stuck on defense deep into the map,” DCCC spokesman Tyler Law told Talking Points Memo.
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