Rep. Dan Kildee (D., Mich.) is distancing himself from other Democrats in a new campaign ad. That’s a heavy lift considering his voting record and position in Democratic leadership.
In a new ad, which does not mention that Kildee is a Democrat, the congressman pitches himself as an independent who stands up to his own party. Kildee adds that his self-described habit of breaking with his party makes him unpopular in Congress.
How Kildee can call himself unpopular when he’s one of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) whips—whose job is to pressure other Democrats to vote on legislation—is unclear. Moreover, Kildee votes with President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Kildee’s rebrand attempt is a familiar one. Vulnerable Democrats who have been rubber stamps for Biden’s agenda, such as Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio), are running as far away from their party as possible, highlighting just how toxic the party brand has become in swing districts.
First elected in 2012, Kildee is a ripe target for Republicans in November. Kildee’s district changed in December of last year and now encompasses broad swaths of solid-red regions in Michigan.
Democrats are aware of this fact. In June, Pelosi sent out a fundraising plea for Kildee, calling on Democrats to support "his toughest reelection fight yet."