DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney endorses using 'spoiler candidates' to thwart GOP in tight races

Democrats currently maintain a 220-seat majority in the House

Updated: July 26, 2022 - 3:44pm

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Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., on Tuesday backed the use of so-called 'spoiler candidates' to help the party triumph in tight races as the Democrats struggle to contend with President Joe Biden's low approval ratings and increased Republican optimism heading into the midterm elections.

“We have a high bar for that,” he said in a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC, per the Epoch Times. “I think if you’re going to do that, you need to really understand what you’re doing, if you’re talking about trying to pick your opponent. You might see us do that, sure, and I think sometimes it does make sense.”

Democrats currently maintain a 220-seat majority in the House, with 218 seats required to control the lower chamber. Republicans expect to retake the majority in November as the incumbent president's party usually suffers significant losses in the midterms.

One party typically lends support to a candidate in the opposing party's primary that it considers the easiest to beat. In Maryland, for example, the Democratic Governor's Association bought campaign ads supporting Republican state Rep. Dan Cox, a Trump-backed conservative, in the GOP primary.

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who backed a more moderate candidate to succeed him, derided what he called "unprecedented collusion" between the Democrats and Trump allies, asserting Cox's win likely foreshadows a Democratic victory in the gubernatorial race.

Republicans hold a narrow lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average for a generic congressional ballot and the poll aggregator currently labels 223 House seats as "solid," "likely," or "leans" Republican, enough for a majority.