November 6, 2020
Progressive Says Lincoln Project 'Made MSNBC-Watching Liberals Feel Smug, But Didn't Actually Move Any Voters'

Conservative super PAC the Lincoln Project's efforts to persuade Republicans to support the Democratic Party were a complete failure, according to David Sirota, editor-at-large of Jacobin. Sirota also worked on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.

Speaking for The Hill's Rising, Sirota pointed out that President Donald Trump won a bigger share of the Republican vote this election cycle than four years ago.

"In a sense, they went to liberals and said 'give us money to help us defeat Republicans, that's our job,'" Sirota said.

"So, when Donald Trump actually increases his share of the Republican vote in 2020 versus 2016 when there wasn't the Lincoln Project, that's just statistically an epic failure."
Sirota argued that the money the anti-Trump group spent on expensive advertisements and similar efforts should have been spent on winning key state legislatures, which Democrats have lost.

"So imagine if that $67 million had gone into winning state legislatures, it could be a totally different ball game for the next ten years," the progressive said.

"But, instead it went to Republican operatives at the Lincoln Project, to produce YouTube videos that made MSNBC-watching liberals feel smug, but didn't actually move any voters," he added.

Exit polls support Sirota's analysis. According to data published by The New York Times, 93 percent of Republicans voted for Trump, while only 6 percent voted for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Conversely, 6 percent of Democrats voted for Trump.

Furthermore, the vast majority of those who consider themselves conservative cast their ballots for Trump. Biden won among self-described liberals and independents and received very little support from conservatives.

Over the course of the 2020 presidential campaign, the Lincoln Project released dozens of advertisements slamming Trump. This summer, for instance, they released an ad accusing the president of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic.

In October, the group released a video praising Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, and ripping into Vice President Mike Pence.

Last month, citing data from the Federal Election Commission, The Washington Examiner reported that the Lincoln Project spent a staggering $13 million on so-called operating expenditures and directed nearly $23 million of independent expenditures to its founders' firms.

As the publication noted, these millions of dollars could have been invested in helping Democrats in competitive Senate races in states such as Colorado, North Carolina and Arizona.

The Lincoln Project was founded by disgruntled Republicans who claimed to oppose Trump and his agenda. Among its founders are longtime GOP operatives George Conway, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, Reed Galen and Ron Steslow.