Desperate times call for desperate measures and sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend. At least, that’s the philosophy one Liberal PAC is following as election day nears.
All clichés aside, Kentucky Democrats are in do-or-die mode. A liberal PAC is now spending over $1 million to bolster Kentucky’s Libertarian Party nominee in a desperate attempt to detour votes away from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Ditch Mitch Fund, an anti-McConnell PAC founded by national liberal operatives, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from far-left donors to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), campaign-finance disclosures show. The money has helped the group spend more than $10 million on ads slamming McConnell and championing Democratic nominee Amy McGrath. But in the closing days of the campaign, Ditch Mitch Fund is instead spending big to sing the praises of Libertarian candidate Brad Barron.
The move is part of a larger liberal strategy to peel votes away from red-state Republicans by putting substantial funds behind little-known third-party candidates. One anti-McConnell super PAC—Fire Mitch Save America—has spent more than $250,000 on pro-Barron mailers in October. In South Carolina, Democratic Senate nominee Jaime Harrison, the state’s Democratic Party, and an outside group aligned with Harrison have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaign materials that call Constitution Party candidate Bill Bledsoe “the only true conservative on the ballot.”
Federal Election Commission filings show that Ditch Mitch Fund launched an affiliate PAC called True Kentucky Patriots on October 13. Just days later, the group pushed back on reports that it was pulling its TV ads in the race’s final two weeks, instead saying it was “simply adjusting and moving around” the ad buys. True Kentucky Patriots went on to report more than $300,000 spent on TV, radio, and digital spots that call Barron “Kentucky’s true conservative for U.S. Senate.” According to ad-buying tracker Advertising Analytics, the total ad blitz is worth more than $1 million.