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Jacobin - November 13, 2020

The Lincoln Project’s GOP operatives raised huge money from liberals by asserting that they would peel away Republican support from Trump. However, on Wednesday, Washington Post reporters poured cold water on the idea that Never Trump groups succeeded in doing that.

Republican operatives and their allies now frantically seeking credibility in the post–Donald Trump world have spent the week criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and suggesting that their television ads were responsible for defeating the president in the election.

One conservative pundit even attacked the Daily Poster and asserted that so-called “Never Trump” Republicans delivered Trump’s defeat, even though Trump won more GOP votes in 2020 than in 2016.

It’s a fun clickbait fairy tale designed to marginalize progressives and make sure nothing fundamentally changes — but there’s a big problem with the narrative: ad test data reviewed by the Daily Poster show that many of the Never Trump Republican groups’ ads were ineffective, and few of them stood out as particularly persuasive compared to spots from other groups that aren’t being cast by the media as a decisive force in the election.

In fact, the data suggest some of the GOP groups’ messages may have inadvertently boosted support for Trump, making it harder for Democrats to win the presidential election.

GOP operatives at the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) raised at least $77 million this election cycle, much of it from cable-news-watching liberals, for anti-Trump television ads, YouTube videos, and expensive stunts like billboards in Times Square and outside Mar-a-Lago.

That enormous cash haul is more than was raised by the Democratic Party’s unsuccessful national campaign to win state legislatures in advance of congressional redistricting. ...
Read full report at Jacobin