To: House Republican Campaigns
From: Matt Gorman, NRCC Communications Director
RE: 2018 Update
Summer is over and the final stretch of the 2018 campaign is underway.
House Democrats claim to have the largest battlefield they’ve ever had, but – as current outside spending would indicate – what we see now is a district battleground that is almost exactly what many expected in January 2017.
In spite of history and conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, as it stands today, Republicans are well-positioned to maintain control of the House.
This is a testament to several factors:
The Cavalry Is Coming
- Thanks to record fundraising, the NRCC has announced over $62 million in ad reservations across 11 states—and that’s likely just the beginning.
- Those reservations are in addition to the $1.2 million in ads already run in 8 states during the month of August.
Facing Historic Challenges With Clear Eyes
- The NRCC entered this cycle with a full understanding that history was not on our side.
- Because of that, the committee counseled candidates to run each day—no matter the district or previous election results—as if they were 10 points down.
- That mindset enabled candidates to sharpen their campaign teams, raise money, and prepare for battle earlier than they ever had before.
- The NRCC put an emphasis on fundraising early in the cycle.
- This effort led to nearly $145 million raised to date – more than the committee has ever posted at this point.
- Current cash-on-hand figures show the NRCC trailing our Democratic counterparts by less than $5 million – hardly an advantage when Democrats must heavily invest in the most expensive media markets in the country if they hope to take back the House.
A Clear Contrast
- With the coming air war across the television and digital landscape this fall, it’s crucial to draw a clear contrast between our party and the Democrats.
- Nancy Pelosi is the most unpopular politician in every competitive district in the country. That is not spin; that is a stone-cold fact backed by our polling.
- Thanks to Danny O’Connor’s stumble on national TV, it’s clear that Democrats—when forced with a binary choice for speaker between the 2 parties—will choose Pelosi.
- The record economic gains, thanks to the tax cuts passed by the GOP, continue to raise wages and lower unemployment.
- Tough opposition research will continue to pay dividends in defining Democratic candidates—as it has with Amy McGrath and Scott Wallace.
Resilient Republican Incumbents
- Internal polls have nearly every Republican incumbent in the lead or within the margin of error—even in states such as Virginia, California, and New York.
- Roughly 80% of Republican incumbents ranked by Cook Political Report as Lean Republican or worse still maintain a cash-on-hand advantage.
- Members have spent the last 20 months focusing on the district-specific issues voters care about.
- In open seats, Republicans have a historic class of recruits with diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
- Candidates such as Young Kim, Lea Marquez Peterson, Pete Stauber, Diane Harkey, and Maria Elvira Salazar represent the future of the Republican Party and are running in some of the most competitive districts in the country.
Progressives Hijacked The Democratic Party
- According to polling, Democrats simply aren’t a viable alternative in the eyes of persuadable voters because they’re too liberal.
Progressives have full control over the direction of the party – forcing candidates to support policies like single-payer health care, abolishing ICE, and undoing the Republican tax plan.