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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, October 12, 2018

GOP Triage: Shooting the Wounded

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race

Alexander Burns at NYT:
As they brace for losses in the House of Representatives, Republican Party leaders are racing to reinforce their candidates in about two-dozen districts, trying to create a barricade around their imperiled majority. They are pouring money and effort mainly into moderate suburban areas, like Mr. Sessions’s seat, that they see as critical to holding the chamber by even a one-seat margin. And they have begun to pull millions of dollars away from Republican candidates who have fallen substantially behind in once-
competitive races.

...

There are between 60 and 70 Republican-held districts that are being seriously contested, and Democrats, boosted by strong fund-raising, have been expanding their television advertising in conservative-leaning districts in an effort to stretch Republicans thin. National polls have shown most voters favor a Democratic-led House over a Republican one, though the Democrats’ lead has varied.
In a tactical retreat, Republican groups have already withdrawn some or all funding from a few embattled incumbents, mainly in suburbs where President Trump is unpopular, including Representatives Kevin Yoder of Kansas, Mike Coffman of Colorado and Mike Bishop of Michigan. They have abandoned more than half a dozen seats where Republican lawmakers are not running for re-election. On Wednesday they cut loose the Tucson, Ariz.-based seat of Representative Martha McSally, who left to run for Senate.
 Party strategists said several other incumbents must recover quickly or risk losing funding, including Representatives Peter Roskam of Illinois and Mimi Walters of California, who represent white-collar suburbs near Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively.
...
[DCCC chair Ben] Luján wryly pointed to Mr. Sessions, 63, as an example of Republican distress, noting that the Republican candidate had suggested last year he would not need help from the national party. Now, Mr. Luján said, Mr. [Pete] Sessions is “calling the cavalry home to see if they can defend that seat” against Colin Allred, his Democratic challenger.
...
Mr. Sessions, a House committee chairman, is in a close race with Mr. Allred, 35, a civil rights lawyer whom Republicans have sought to brand as a liberal. A poll conducted by The Times and Siena College found the two effectively tied, and both parties are saturating the district with advertising.

SwingLeft, a hybrid PAC and super PAC, has brought out a big gun for Allred:  Samuel L. Jackson.