Anti-Muslim Activist Laura Loomer Is About to Get a Little Closer to Congress
The fringe Trumpworld personality has tried to restyle herself this cycle as a less obviously hateful Republican candidate.
Laura Loomer Pushes Toward Congress
Anti-Muslim activist and fringe Trumpworld personality Laura Loomer is poised to move one step closer to the halls of Congress in two weeks—unless a little-known engineering professor can stop her.
Loomer is notorious, among other things, for chaining herself to Twitter’s front door, for being permanently booted from Uber Eats after calling for an Uber without Muslim drivers, and for calling Islam a “cancer on society.”
She’s tried to restyle herself this cycle as a less obviously hateful Republican candidate for her congressional bid in Florida’s 21st District, a seat now held by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), trading social media stunts for mundane fundraisers.
Loomer isn’t the only Trump internet personality to make a long-shot House bid this year. But unlike most of her compatriots who went on to primary defeat, Loomer has raised a ton of money ahead of her Aug. 18 primary, pulling in more than $1.1 million as of a Thursday FEC filing. Loomer also hired Karen Giorno, a well-connected Trump ally and former Florida campaign chief, for her campaign.
Plenty of Republican donors, it seems, want Loomer to bring “Loomering”—the trademark tactic where she yells at Democrats on camera—to Congress. But Loomer has also benefited from a weak primary field.
One-time Loomer rival and QAnon booster Michael Bluemling, for example, boasted to me back in January that he would “destroy” Loomer in the primary once he overcame her name-recognition advantage. Instead, Bluemling dropped out before the primary even happened.
At this point, the only potential Republican standing in Loomer’s way is Christian Acosta, a more traditional GOP candidate and engineering professor. The editorial board of Florida’s Sun Sentinel begged Republican voters to choose Acosta over Loomer in an endorsement, saying Loomer’s fundraising advantage was built on “bigotry and conspiracy theories.”
“If you have never heard of Laura Loomer, good,” the editorial read. “May this time be the last.”
Loomer looks set to carry the primary, but her general election prospects are far dimmer. Frankel has easily won her last few re-elections, against candidates less polarizing than Loomer. The district is rated D+9, suggesting that Loomer would be lucky to win in a Republican wave year—which 2020 is not shaping up to be.
So far, Loomer has struggled to tie Frankel to members of the progressive “Squad” in Congress. In another line of attack, Loomer comically demanded that Frankel personally protect Mar-a-Lago, which lies inside the district, from Iranian terrorists.
Despite all the evidence of a November flameout, Loomer’s conservative media allies have been going wild with some internal polls that I would generously describe as almost certainly wrong.
One internal campaign poll that has been trumpeted by fringe right-wing blogs and the Washington Times claims that Loomer is polling 9 points ahead of Frankel. Another, more reasonable poll from a Loomer-aligned group claimed that she’s just 4 points behind Frankel.
The stories about the polls lack even the most basic details about methodology or margin of error. Asked for more details about their internal poll or any proof that Loomer is nearly double digits ahead of a longtime incumbent who hasn’t even had a Republican challenger in some cycles, the Loomer campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Despite all evidence of a November flameout, Loomer claims she has already prepared stamped envelopes with letters taunting her haters when she wins the general.
“I already have envelopes addressed with postage ready to send out to all the haters in the media and the haters on the right and left who said I won’t win,” Loomer posted on Telegram, a messaging app popular with conservatives who have been received lifetime bans from more popular social networks.