House Republicans Know They Have to Win in Hostile Territory
Most of what you hear from Republican politicians, when you see them on TV or hear them on the radio or read them in
the newspapers, is just blather. It happens with Democrats, too, of course, but today's GOP is particularly beholden to
voters who demand performative politics.
When the cameras are off, however, the Republicans have plenty of pros who understand the nuts and bolts of actually
winning elections (as opposed to "winning" today's news cycle). Yesterday, the Republicans' Congressional Leadership Fund
summer 2023 strategy memo.
If you want to see what politicians are really thinking, once it's time to hunker down, stop the kabuki theater, and play
chess, you might want to take a gander.
If not, however, we will provide an overview. Of course the memo is a bit overly bullish about Republican chances
and a bit peevish when it comes to the Democrats. But putting that aside:
- The pooh-bahs think they have a rough road next year, since they're going to have to defend seats in
expensive-to-advertise, purplish districts in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. In view of this, the memo
announces an initiative called the "Blue State Project" and declares: "In 2024, the House will be won or lost in blue
- They are, of course, going to run against Joe Biden and his age.
- Though they realize the Republicans had candidate quality issues in many places, they are not willing to say that is
because those candidates were generally too Trumpy.
- The Republicans have high hopes for the various fights over redistricting (of course, so do the Democrats).
- The Republicans are excited about districts where the Democrats have failed to recruit a top-flight candidate. Of
course, there are always some of those, on both sides of the aisle.
- The leadership recognizes that while Freedom Caucus-flavored red meat plays well in ruby red districts, it's not
generally a good idea elsewhere.
- The GOP will be on the hunt for the rare split-ticket voters, an increasingly endangered species.
Ultimately, this news isn't all that consequential, but if you're interested in some inside baseball, the memo
is a pretty good example of it. (Z)
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