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Why is the Democratic Party Spending Over $110,000 to Back a Republican?

In an unusual move to field a Democratic candidate for California’s 48th District House election in November, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has spent over $110,000 to support a Republican. John Gabbard, the Republican, is backed by the DCCC in an effort to split the Republican vote, Open Secrets reported.

The DCCC made the expenditure a few days before June 5 when the primary election is expected to pull a heavy crowd to the 48th District primaries. Candidates are vying for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s seat; however, only two candidates with the highest number of votes will emerge as contenders in the general elections in November, regardless of political affiliation.

The Democrat’s Ploy to Split Conservative Votes

Analysts say people in the 48th district see both Rohrabacher and legislator Scott Baugh as the likeliest candidates for the Republican Party. Gabbard is only the third candidate, and the DCCC is backing him in hopes of dividing the conservative vote three ways so that a Democrat could win enough votes to come in second and be on the ballot in November.

“You would fund that additional Republican to try to pull away votes from No. 2, say (Baugh), so that one of the Dems could come into that position,” said Fred Smoller, a political science professor at Chapman University.

The DCCC is fielding Democrat Harley Rouda at the general election in November. Rouda, a real estate executive, is backed by Democratic sponsors and part of the Democrat’s national “Red to Blue” plan to flip seats across the country.

Republicans Call The Democrat Plan “Good News” 

Liberals are facing a crowded Democratic run at the 48th District seat too. While the national Democratic Party supports Rouda, the California Democratic Party backs Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher and neuroscientist.

Jesse Hunt, press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, called the Democratic infighting and backing of a Republican candidate “desperate.”

“It reeks of desperation,” said Hunt, press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “They’re so concerned about a potential lockout that they’re spending in support of Republican candidates.”

The DCCC has kept their lips sealed, but Hunt opined that the DCCC’s decision to fund Gabbard even in the face of internal crisis within the Democratic Party would only help the Republicans chances of winning on June 5.


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