According to a report from Politico, any belief that Republicans may have had at regaining control of the House is all but dead as fundraising dries up for them -- in part because of the coronavirus pandemic -- while House Democrats sit on fat war-chests.
Following the so-called "blue wave" 2018 election where Democrats picked up 40 seats, flipped the chamber and elevated Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to House Speaker, the GOP could be looking at losing even more seats in November.
According to Politico's Ally Mutnick, "Recruitment flops and lackluster fundraising have weakened Republicans’ chances in over a dozen competitive House districts, leaving them with an increasingly narrow path back to power. Though GOP strategists feel confident they will see some gains this cycle, the latest fundraising reports out last week painted a bleak picture of their odds of netting the 18 seats needed to recapture the House, particularly with campaigning frozen by a global pandemic."
According to retired Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) things look bleak for his party.
“Flipping the House is unlikely at this point. You never say never, but unlikely. While Republicans have more offensive opportunities than Democrats in House races this cycle, Republicans are playing more defense than they’d like given retirements, especially in Texas,” he explained.
As Republican incumbents and challengers have struggled to raise cash to run effective campaigns in what is expected to be a highly charged and expensive 2020 campaign, House Democrats are sitting on plenty of cash.
"Democrats continue to ride the "green wave" of campaign contributions that propelled them to the majority in the 2018 midterms. Nearly 30 of the most endangered House Democrats have banked $2 million or more in their reelection war chests, offering a layer of protection in otherwise challenging districts," Mutnick wrote before adding that the Republican leadership has also had problems recruiting viable candidates to run for seats where they feel they have a chance.
"Meanwhile, Republicans have been unable to field strong candidates in key districts in Michigan, New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota that the president carried and the start of primary season has left them hamstrung by weak nominees in some Illinois and California targets," the report states. "Both parties largely agree that a cluster of suburban seats around Denver, Tucson, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Diego and Washington, D.C., that Democrats flipped by wide margins last cycle are not in play because they are trending quickly away from the GOP."
Add to that, things don't look to get better for Republicans due to the COVID-19 health crisis, which is crimping raising quick cash as the election looms nearer.
"The pandemic is certain to cripple fundraising throughout the summer months, meaning Republicans who empty out their accounts to win primaries could seriously struggle to refill the coffers," Mutnick explained. "Still, GOP officials insist that House races are highly susceptible to top-of-the-ticket trends, and that races in red-leaning districts could heat up late in the fall as the presidential race tightens, even if they have middling nominees with insufficient cash."
“The nightmare scenario for Republicans is that Democrats have enough money that they can be on offense,” explained a veteran GOP campaign consultant. “A lot of that has to do with how much pressure we can put on Democratic incumbents, and so that’s why recruiting failures anywhere are not ideal.”
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