Earlier this month, the same day his campaign announced raising $1.1 million in the first quarter of the year—more than Hawley did in the same period—Kunce’s campaign saw another chance to connect with regular people who feel the deck is stacked against them. The opportunity arrived when the conservative outlet The Washington Free Beacon published a story headlined, “NERD ALERT: Democrat Senate Candidate Likes Magic the Gathering, Was First Male Cheerleader at Yale.”
His tweet proudly confirming the story got thousands of likes and numerous comments from Magic players saying that learning he played prompted them to donate. Some joked that their support was conditional on his favorite deck or format.
“They just don’t understand how everyday people live,” Kunce says, mentioning Hawley’s past critical comments about men playing video games. “They don’t understand that sometimes you need an escape from the world. I mean, I was a poor kid growing up in Jeff City, Missouri. This was a way I found friends. It was a way that I escaped some of the harsh realities of my family going bankrupt and struggling… If only we could all lead such a pampered life that we never had to escape in some way.”