Attacking the Koch brothers for Democrats is a dangerous addiction. Now we have a better understanding why.
Back in 2006, after six years of a Republican Presidency, House, and Senate, America was going through a little bit of GOP fatigue. The Republicans answer to this? Attack Democratic sugar daddy George Soros as the billionaire with nefarious-intentions for America. The strategy failed quite soundly with Republicans losing not only the House, but the Senate as well.
Fast-forward eight years, now Democrats are in a similar position as the 2006 GOP: a President with an abysmal approval rating, an issue the country heartily dislikes, and no clear narrative to push beyond their generic attacks on Republicans. And, yet, despite so many similarities, why do Democrats seem so committed to running the same failed strategy as the 2006 Republicans? Slate has a new story that may explain why:
…here’s another reason that the Democrats will keep battering the Kochs. I’ve seen some numbers from fundraising emails from one campaign that were sent from roughly mid-January to mid-March, pretty bad news cycles for the party. Nineteen emails didn’t mention the Kochs. They raised, in total, $48,146.30, for an average of $2,534.02 per message.
But five emails mentioned, in at least some way, the Koch brothers. Those asks raised $32,668.72, an average of $6,533.74 per email. The Democratic base, which has been hearing about and fearing the Kochs for nearly four years, responds to this stuff. [the Peak emphasis]
Democratic operatives, campaigns, and candidates see those numbers and salivate. Problem is, while the Left has done a good job making their base fear all things Koch, the middle of the country could care less. As The Washington Post points out, even after the Democrats have spent years demonizing the Koch Brothers (we hear D’s tell their kids to be good or the Koch Bros will come and steal them in the middle of the night) the name recognition for the Koch Brothers is still quite low:
A poll of registered voters conducted in January for the Democratic-aligned America Votes found that Kochs had relatively low name identification in five battleground states, ranging from 29 percent to 37 percent, according to a person familiar with the results. [the Peak emphasis]
It’s obvious what’s happening: Democrats are seeing those lucrative fundraising numbers and mistaking those results to be expandable across the whole political game. Yet, essentially, the Koch Brothers are acting as decoys. Every ad or second spent focused on them is one less ad or second spent attacking Republican candidates.
Welcome to your 2006 Democrats. Take our word for it, it’s going suck.