Republicans begin the process of abandoning candidates in unwinnable races.
Top Republican Party campaign officials are facing so many vulnerable House races this year that they can’t possibly help all the candidates win. So the party is going to have to start deciding which races are unwinnable and begin throwing those Republicans overboard.
“GOP officials say as many as 45 Republican-held seats are at serious risk, making it impossible to salvage each one in the costly scramble to protect the party’s 23-seat majority,” Politico reports.
But even that estimate of 45 GOP-held seats being at risk may be an understatement. Some election watchers say the number of GOP House seats that are competitive, or in play, this year is closer to 60 or 70.
Either way, facing a possible Democratic “blue wave” in November, Republicans are scrambling as they try to figure out the best way to combat an energized Democratic base of voters.
Specifically, operatives are tying to figure out where to spend their limited financial resources.
“Behind the scenes, senior party strategists have begun polling to determine which incumbents may be beyond saving,” according to Politico.
High on that list are Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, Pennsylvania Rep. Keith Rothfus, and Iowa Rep. Rod Blum.
Notably, the Congressional Leadership Fund, the main House GOP-aligned super PAC, won’t commit to supporting Comstock’s race.
“These are very Darwinian decisions. It means selection of the fittest,” said former Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Phil English.
Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win back control of the House and reclaim oversight powers.
Republicans aren’t just scrambling to save seats in the House. After becoming the first black candidate to win the nomination for Florida’s gubernatorial race this week, Democrat Andrew Gillum raised $1 million in just 24 hours and jumped out to a five-point lead in a state Trump won in 2016.
Over at the White House, Trump is taking a more radical approach to the midterms, recently warning his evangelical supporters that political violence is looming if Democrats prevail in November.
“They will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently,” he stressed. “And violently. There’s violence. When you look at antifa, and you look at some of these groups, these are violent people.”
That kind of desperate rhetoric seems to reflect the GOP’s larger conclusion: that they’re facing an awful lot of unwinnable races in November.
Published with permission of The American Independent.