The New York Times reported on Thursday that Democrats are spending millions of dollars to boost Rep. Matt Rosendale’s (R-MT) likely bid for Senate.
Although Rosendale has yet to declare his candidacy, the Times reported that Montana Democrats have been “quietly” running online ads to promote Rosendale by touting his conservative “credentials.”
The Times noted the ads appear to mirror a Democrat strategy to boost candidates they believe will be easier to defeat in the general election:
The social media spots are subtle, but resemble a controversial strategy Democrats used in the 2022 cycle to help right-wing candidates who they believed would be easier to defeat in a general election. Those bets worked in places like Michigan, where Democrats flipped a House seat by defeating John Gibbs, a Trump-backed candidate, and Pennsylvania, where Doug Mastriano’s fringe campaign for governor lost by double digits.
Montana Democrats have reportedly spent $2.7 million to $3.3 million to promote the ads on Facebook since December. Treasure State Truths, a group that has links to a Democrat consulting firm, has produced the ads.
The ads state that “We can’t Tim Sheehy,” Rosendale’s likely primary opponent, while the ads on Rosendale appear to be less critical of Rosendale:
One spot, for example, amplifies his support for banning abortion without exceptions by pointing to an opinion column that praises the Montana Republican for his support.
The only line of text in the ad quotes from the column, saying that Mr. Rosendale “has always been an outspoken and unapologetic advocate” of abortion restrictions.
A Super Pac that seems linked to Democrats spent more than $5 million attacking Sheehy.
“Democrats are clearly reprising their cynical strategy of meddling in Republican primaries,” Mike Berg, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said.