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Humiliated in Virginia, the Lincoln Project Faces Bleak Future in 2022


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"It's a bad day to be @ProjectLincoln," wrote Winsome Sears's campaign team after the candidate made history as the first woman of color elected to a statewide office in Virginia. She will serve as lieutenant governor alongside Republican governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and Jason Miyares, the first Hispanic American to serve as state attorney general.

The Lincoln Project, a disgraced super PAC, had done its best to ensure that Sears and her fellow Republicans would lose, in part by paying a bunch of Democratic operatives to dress up as neo-Nazis and hold tiki torches in the pouring rain. It was one of the most pathetic political stunts in recent memory. "We're coming for you, Glenn Youngkin," the Lincoln Project tweeted in late September. Nevertheless, the GOP candidates scored improbable victories in an increasingly solid blue state that voted for President Joe Biden by more than 10 percentage points.

It was a bad day to be the Lincoln Project, and the situation is unlikely to improve heading into the 2022 midterms. The super PAC had little to show for the $324,773 it spent on the Virginia election, the majority of which went toward anti-Youngkin attack ads. The Lincoln Project, which has faced criticism for its shady financial practices and was described by founding member Steve Schmidt as a vehicle for "generational wealth," spent more than $88,000—nearly a third of its total spending in Virginia—on production or other administration costs.

Come to think of it, the Lincoln Project has little to show for the nearly $100 million it raised during the 2020 election cycle. Its founders claimed responsibility for Donald Trump's defeat, but the super PAC's performance in other races suggests it is far more successful at electing Republicans than it is at defeating them. For example, the group spent almost $12 million in an effort to defeat the GOP candidates running in seven key Senate races. Democrats lost every single one, in some cases by double-digit margins.


The killing of the Lincoln Project.

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