On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Republicans are frustrated over the blitz of Democratic spending in House races, acknowledging they are likely to see their minority shrink even further.
“Bolstered by an enormous cash-on-hand advantage, a series of critical Republican recruitment failures and a wave of liberal enthusiasm, Democrats have fortified their grip on hard-fought seats won in 2018 that allowed them to seize control of the House,” reported Emily Cochrane and Catie Edmondson. “They have trained their firepower and huge campaign coffers on once-solid Republican footholds in affluent suburban districts, where many voters have become disillusioned with Mr. Trump.”
“That has left Republicans, who started the cycle hoping to retake the House by clawing back a number of the competitive districts they lost to Democrats in 2018, straining to meet a bleaker goal: limiting the reach of another Democratic sweep by winning largely rural, white working-class districts … where Mr. Trump is still popular,” continued the report, noting that the GOP is trying to reclaim seats like New York’s 22nd Congressional District. “Depending on how successful those efforts are, Republican strategists, citing a national environment that has turned against them, privately forecast losing anywhere from a handful of seats to as many as 20.”
“The Democrats’ green wave in 2018 has turned into a green tsunami in 2020, which combined with ongoing struggles with college-educated suburban voters, makes for an extremely challenging environment,” said House Republican strategist Corry Bliss. “There are about a dozen 50-50 races across the country, and the most important factor in each is if the president can close strong in the final stretch.”
“Making matters worse for Republicans is the state of their fund-raising. Democrats in the most competitive races are sitting on a 5-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over their Republican challengers, and Democratic candidates overall were poised to spend nearly twice as much on television ads from Labor Day to Election Day, according to strategists tracking the buys,” said the report. “Some Republican candidates … were out-raised so handily that outside groups, like the Congressional Leadership Fund, a House Republican super PAC, have been forced to step in to carry out campaign fundamentals like advertising and phone calls, as well as get-out-the-vote programs.”
All of this stands in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s recent boast that he expects Republicans to win back the House majority in 2020 — something that Republican strategists are starting to concede is all but foreclosed.