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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Anti-Trump Republicans

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well under  way.   

Alayna Treene and Jonathan Swan at Axios:
A group of prominent Republican operatives that includes former officials from the Trump and George W. Bush administrations are launching a super PAC to turn out GOP voters for Joe Biden in November, organizers tell Axios.
Details: The "Right Side PAC" aims to identify former Trump supporters across the country who have cooled to the president's approach in office and convince them to vote for Biden, says founder Matt Borges, a former chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
  • Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired after 10 days as Trump's communications director and later turned on the president, also is part of the effort.
How it works: The PAC will initially target voters in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida.
  • They'll use digital, mail and telephone to reach voters. They'll encourage absentee voting. They do not have plans to run TV ads.
  • It's getting help from a few dozen operatives, including alums of Bush and the late Sen. John McCain's presidential campaigns.
  • They'll lay out Biden's record on free trade, states' rights, federal spending and respecting U.S. diplomatic and military alliances — and highlight his Catholic faith — to make the case that most anti-Trump Republicans can feel comfortable supporting him.
  • The group intends to rely heavily on major donors.
  • More detail on its backers should come out with its first Federal Election Commission filing in mid-July.
Between the lines: The group sees itself as a complement to The Lincoln Project, the anti-Trump group led by George Conway (husband of Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway) and several prominent GOP operatives.
The Lincoln Project is more focused on TV ads and broader messaging, while Right Side will concentrate more on data and individualized turnout, Borges said. "We're going to dig into the data and find out where these voters are and try to help turn them out."