Get ready to hear a lot about Marjorie Taylor Greene as next year’s congressional elections rev up.
Democrats are looking to make the Republican from Georgia one of their chief foils as they attempt to wrestle back control of the House next year, and one major political group is already laying the groundwork to link other GOP members with Greene.
The new “MAGA Scorecard” released Thursday from the Center for American Progress Action Fund stacks up all 222 House Republicans against Greene’s voting record. The report indicates that the vast majority of the House GOP conference has voted alongside her 92% of the time. The figure varies little for the five vulnerable swing-district members from New York, who voted with her at least 85% of the time.
“They are continuing to move further and further towards the extreme parts of their party and their voting record shows it,” Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Semafor.
The White House has been eager to cast Greene as the face of “ultra-MAGA” Republican extremism, so it’s no surprise to see Democratic campaign outfits join the effort. They’re essentially betting that they can tie relatively moderate swing-district Republicans to her positions much the way the GOP cast even middle-of-the-road Democrats as far-left activists yearning to strip funding from law enforcement in 2020.
“It certainly had an impact on us when they were painting us as ‘defund the police.’ They were taking the democratic socialist message and applying it to Abigail Spanberger,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. told Semafor. “We got really hurt.”
In last year’s midterms, though, Democrats pivoted to portraying Republicans up and down the ballot as “MAGA extremists” — and experienced the strongest showing from a party controlling the White House in decades. They seem eager to build on that strategy again in 2024.
For Democrats, Greene will likely serve as a useful face for negative ads while pitching voters on their party’s achievements on infrastructure, clean energy and domestic manufacturing in positive spots. Some individual candidates have already begun tracking her votes along with their opponents.
Rep. Ann Kuster, D-N.H. told Semafor that she believes it will boost campaigns like hers (ranked likely Democrat by Cook Political Report) by forcing moderate GOP incumbents to put distance between themselves and unpopular positions held by conservatives.
“They have a problem that their leadership has succumbed to the extreme wing of the party,” Kuster said.
The View From Marjorie Taylor Greene
“I really don’t know what’s extreme about strong borders, strong economy, protecting our kids, caring about America first instead of more foreign wars,” Greene told Semafor on Wednesday. “I can’t imagine what’s extreme about that.”
Room for Disagreement
Republicans in swing districts argue the Democratic attacks will do little damage to their re-election campaigns. They expect their own individual brands to carry the day.
“Their campaign tactics last cycle didn’t work,” Rep. Nick LaLota, a freshman from New York, told Semafor. “They spent more than $3 million trying to call me somebody who I wasn’t. If they try that again this year they’re probably going to burn the same amount of money.”
Not every vulnerable Democrat is thrilled at the idea of inserting Greene into their race either. “I think that actually people are tired of nationalized politics and want place-based relationships,” Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash. told Semafor.
Democrats are considering bringing forward censure resolutions against Greene and Rep. George Santos, R-NY. There are concerns about the idea within the caucus, Politico reports, including an expectation Republicans would respond with censures of their own against Democrats.