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New Hampshire

Democrats cautiously campaign on Jan. 6, democracy threats |

WASHINGTON — Last yr on the House ground, Democratic Representative Tim Ryan angrily bemoaned the shortage of impartiality after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and stated Republican opposition to a fee of inquiry was a “slap in the face” to the legislation enforcement officers underneath assault by supporters of then-President Donald Trump that day.

Ryan has taken a extra cautious method this yr as he runs for the US Senate in Ohio, a former battleground state that tilted to the fitting within the Trump period. At a current debate, his Republican opponent, JD Vance, accused Ryan of being “obsessed” with the rioting and known as the House Committee’s Jan. 6 investigation a “political hit job” towards Trump.

“I don’t want to talk about it any more than everyone else,” Ryan shot again. “I wish to speak about jobs. I wish to speak about wages. I wish to speak about pensions…however, my God, you need to handle it.”

Ryan’s caution reflects the political divide that remains nearly two years after the violent Capitol riot sparked by Trump’s false statements about a stolen 2020 presidential election. Many Republicans still mistakenly believe the anti-Trump vote count was rigged, and GOP lawmakers have repeatedly downplayed the violent attack that killed at least five people, injured more than 100 police officers and left lawmakers running for their lives.

But the reluctance of some Democrats to talk about Jan. 6 on the campaign trail is an admission that voters are primarily focused on paperback issues like gas prices and rising inflation in what is usually a referendum on the incumbent president. This dynamic has created a delicate balance for Democrats, particularly those like Ryan who are running in more Republican-leaning areas or swing states.

“The public sees this as one thing prior to now whereas they’re coping with inflation,” says GOP polling researcher Frank Luntz, who has conducted focus groups on the Jan. 6 attack. If you can’t afford to support your family or fill your tank with gas, says Luntz, “it is unlikely {that a} struggle about one thing that occurred two years in the past is on the prime of your listing.”

Still, some candidates are betting that voters won’t care.

Independent Evan McMullin, a former Republican running against Utah Senator Mike Lee, has made the issue a central part of his campaign. In a debate this month, McMullin said Lee committed a “treason towards the American republic” after it was revealed the GOP senator had texted White House aides before the riot to find ways to help Trump could reverse his defeat. Lee demanded an apology, which McMullin did not offer, noting that he had voted with most senators to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

McMullin also appeared with Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 panel, at an event in Salt Lake City. Speaking to an audience that included supporters carrying signs that read “Country First,” the two men portrayed the half-time as a fight for democracy.

“If you are Mike Lee, it is nonetheless acceptable to say that Donald Trump is the way forward for the occasion and the chief of the occasion,” Kinzinger said.

In a debate earlier this month, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., defended her work as a member of the Jan. 6 House committee by saying it was “a very powerful factor I’ve executed or ever will do professionally.” . beyond their military service. Her campaign later ran an ad with footage of her opponent, Republican Jen Kiggans, refusing to say whether Biden was elected fairly.

“I’m not your candidate in the event you aspect with the insurgents,” Luria said at the debate. “I’m not your nominee in the event you’d moderately have Donald J. Trump again as President.”

In Wisconsin, Democrat Brad Pfaff is fighting his opponent, Republican Derrick Van Orden, but is betting more people will vote against Van Orden when they find out he was among Trump supporters outside the Capitol on Jan. 6. An ad by Pfaff shows images of the violence and a veteran criticizing Van Orden.

Another ad in Wisconsin targets Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who is running for re-election and has repeatedly downplayed the violence of the attack. “Ron Johnson apologizes to rioters who tried to overthrow our authorities,” says a police officer in the ad, which was paid for by Senate Majority PAC, which is linked to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says the issue of democracy has proven to be prominent among Democratic voters, particularly older and suburban women who hold less positive views of Trump. “They’re speaking about this as a difficulty to get voting executed,” Lake said.

John Zogby, also a Democrat pollster, agrees that the threat to democracy is a priority for many Democrats. But he has seen less interest from independent voters who could decide the most contested elections.

“I do not know if it is going to win new voters for the Democrats,” Zogby says.

Like Ryan, the chairman of the House Spending Subcommittee that oversees Capitol Police, some Democrats who have been open about the riots in Washington have spoken less about it during the campaign.

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster and Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee have spoken out about their post-traumatic stress from being trapped in the gallery of the House of Representatives when rioters tried to smash the doors down on Jan. 6 over the attack or the threat to democracy – although both have mentioned it on occasion.

Kildee noted that police protected him in a debate that day against his opponent, Republican Paul Junge, as he spoke about his opposition to efforts to disappoint law enforcement. “People in uniform saved my life on January 6,” Kildee said. “I do know what the police can do.”

Responding to a question in support of Ukraine, Kuster said she believes the United States needs to fight for democracy at home and that she is a “survivor, witness, sufferer of the January 6 riot in our Capitol.”

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, who was caught alongside Kuster and Kildee and others that day, has chosen a different strategy as he runs for Senate in his liberal-leaning state. He often talks about his experiences.

Asked about the committee’s work in a recent debate, Welch told the audience that “I used to be there” and that it was a violent attack on the peaceful transfer of power.

“A giant theme on this election is the American folks coming collectively and combating to protect this democracy that has served us so nicely,” Welch said.

His opponent, Republican Gerald Malloy, responded that criminals should be held accountable but Americans had the right to peacefully assemble.

“I’m not calling this a riot,” Malloy stated.


Associated Press author Sam Metz in Salt Lake City; Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa; Scott Bauer of Madison, Wisconsin; Kathy McCormick in Concord, NH; and Will Weissert and Hannah Fingerhut in Washington contributed to this report.


Follow AP’s protection of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections. And take a look at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to study extra in regards to the points and elements at play within the mid-term.

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