Tuesday 15 October 2019

Republicans to cut loose failing candidates as cash drying up

Vote: Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan
Vote: Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan

Steve Peoples

Republicans have begun to concede defeat in the evolving fight to preserve the House of Representatives majority.

The party's candidates may not go quietly, but from the Arizona mountains to suburban Denver to the cornfields of Iowa, the GOP's most powerful players this midterm season are actively shifting resources away from vulnerable Republican House candidates deemed too far gone and toward those thought to have a better chance of political survival.

And as they initiate a painful and strategic triage, the early Republican-on-Republican blame game has begun as well.

GOP operatives connected to several vulnerable candidates complain that the committee responsible for electing House Republicans has failed to deliver on its promise to invest $62m (€53m) in political advertising across 11 states

The operatives spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution - vulnerable Republican candidates still hope to receive additional financial support over the three weeks before election day.

But if the cavalry is coming, it's not coming for everyone.

Already, the Republican operatives and spending patterns by both sides indicate GOP defeat in as many as a dozen House races - halfway to the number Democrats need to seize the House majority this autumn. Dozens more seats are in play.

"We're starting to hone in on what are the races we can actually win. Sometimes that requires a hard conversation," said House Speaker Paul Ryan's fundraising chief, Spencer Zwick.

"The GOP is now facing a green wave," wrote Corry Bliss, who leads the group, known as the Congressional Leadership Fund. "Democratic candidates are outspending Republican candidates in key races by $50m (€43m)."

Indeed, Democratic candidates have outspent their Republican counterparts by $116m (€100m) to $66m (€56m) across almost 80 competitive House districts since July, according to Friday's spending records. The Congressional Leadership Fund has helped make up the difference, having invested $93m (€80m) over the same period.

Irish Independent

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