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Image: John Gibbs, who is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer in the Aug. 2, primary election, during a Republican candidate Forum and pre-election rally in Holland, Mich., on July 19, 2022.
John Gibbs during a Republican candidate Forum and pre-election rally in Holland, Mich., on July 19, 2022. Daniel Shular / The Grand Rapids Press via AP

Midterm roundup: Michigan meddling

The DCCC is launching a TV ad painting GOP Rep. Peter Meijer's primary opponent as "too conservative."

By and

Democrats are once again elevating a pro-Trump primary candidate, this time launching a TV ad in Michigan’s 3rd District painting Republican John Gibbs as “too conservative” in his race against GOP Rep. Peter Meijer — a message that could endear Gibbs to GOP voters ahead of next week’s primary. 

Despite being Trump’s preferred candidate, Gibbs has struggled to fundraise against Meijer, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Meijer’s campaign has vastly outspent Gibbs on the airwaves, per AdImpact, but the DCCC buy is making up the difference. Its independent expenditure arm putting $425,000 behind the Gibbs ad in the Grand Rapids media market, per a DCCC spokesperson. 

Meijer’s campaign responded by telling Axios that the ad is a sign that “Democrats don’t want to face Peter Meijer in the November election.” Biden would have won the new 3rd District by 8 percentage points, per Inside Elections, making the district a top target. 

Some Republicans have rallied around Meijer. The New York Times reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s PAC contributed $10,000 to Meijer’s campaign. And the Chamber of Commerce launched a new ad Monday boosting Meijer.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail…

Arizona Senate: Republican Blake Masters’ campaign spent $191,000 on a new TV buy starting Tuesday and running through Aug. 1, the day before the Senate primary, per AdImpact.

Georgia Senate: Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is up with a new ad attacking Republican Herschel Walker by calling on him to “stop dodging” and “commit to debates.” 

Missouri Senate: While most attention has been on the GOP primary here, the Democratic contest is getting chippy, too. Trudy Busch Valentine is up with a new spot saying that her rival, Lucas Kunce, “sounded like a Republican” when he ran last cycle, days after Kunce launched a spot that said Busch Valentine participated in a secret society “rooted in white supremacy.” 

Wisconsin Senate: Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes launched his closing ad ahead of the Aug. 9 Senate primary. 

Michigan governor: Politico profiles the “GOP’s messiest primary,” where Republicans are looking to find a candidate to take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.  

 Arizona's 2nd District: Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran told “Meet the Press Now” that he has a path to victory in his Trump district. The former president endorsed businessman Eli Crane on Friday in the GOP primary to take on O’Halleran.

 Michigan's 11th District: EMILY’s List’s independent expenditure arm Women Vote! reserved $1 million worth of airtime likely boosting Haley Stevens against fellow Democratic Rep. Andy Levin, per AdImpact. 

New York's 12th District: The race between Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney is heating up ahead of the Aug. 23 primary. Nadler placed his first TV buy of the race starting Tuesday, spending $46,000 on cable, per AdImpact. And Maloney launched a new TV ad focused on abortion where she also says, “You cannot send a man to do a woman’s job.”

New York's 17th District: Politico reports that Democratic state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi trails Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in internal polling from both campaigns, but by significantly different margins

Virginia's 2nd District: Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, a member of the Jan. 6 committee, is up with a new spot highlighting her work on the committee, featuring the narration: “The only thing more horrific than what happened is how much they want to cover it up.”