The Never Trump “conservatives” at The Lincoln Project have made an awful lot of (screechy) noise this year, releasing inflammatory anti-Trump ad after anti-Trump ad and pushing their presence on social media and the usual media outlets like they’re kings of the hill.
To make matters worse for them, it was reported over the summer that this “principled” group of Republicans and supposed Independents were being funded primarily by billionaire Democratic donors. So it was little surprise to anyone when they publicly endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president.
In short, they’ve been thoroughly exposed as complete sellouts – not that that wasn’t obvious well before the 2020 presidential election cycle started. It’s just been made a little more official this year.
Not that any of this matters to them, of course. They’re perfectly okay with being used, abused, and discarded by the left because Orange Man Bad and all that.
Unfortunately for them, their efforts at defeating Trump at the expense of losing much of the respect and credibility they (may have?) once had appears to have backfired in a big way, according to a Democratic group who told Vanity Fair that anti-Trump ads may actually be helping Trump and hurting Biden (bolded emphasis added):
Over the spring and summer, as the coronavirus pandemic choked off the economy and racial unrest took hold across the country, one lesson became abundantly clear from its testing: Ads that directly attack Trump, using his voice, news clips, or even just his face, have the effect of turning off not only persuadable voters, but also the Democratic-base voters whom Joe Biden needs in November. “The scary, doom-and-gloom, negative campaign spots that you typically see in an election year not only aren’t working with people that we want, they’re causing backlash among the people that we need,” said Jess McIntosh, a veteran Democratic communications strategist.
In June, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, Fellow Americans released a digital ad condemning Trump’s now infamous march across Lafayette Square, using scary clips of tear gas and the sounds of flash bangs as Trump held a Bible aloft outside of St. John’s Church. The spot changed almost no minds about Trump or the protests, according to testing responses among various voter subgroups.
“We assumed it would be a mover spot, and it just wasn’t,” McIntosh said. The video had the adverse effect of pushing away not just moderate voters, but also many Democratic-base voters, particularly young people, who find politics tiresome and irrelevant to their lives.
As it turns out, these same types of negative ads hurt Democrats including Hillary Clinton in 2016, too:
— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) September 29, 2020
Only time will tell if the Lincoln Project’s ads – and others like them – will ultimately end up helping propel Trump to victory in November. But just the thought that they might inspires schadenfreude-esque thoughts that I unapologetically admit to having.