With just weeks before critical midterm elections, House Republicans are outgunned and outmanned as a constellation of well-resourced Democratic groups dedicated to winning the majority overwhelm GOP defenses.
From financially flush super PACs flooding the zone with advertising to grassroots organizations directing money and volunteers to targeted races, around a dozen political groups are fueling the Democratic Party’s campaign to flip 23 seats and capture the House on Nov. 6.
In a toxic environment driven by discontent with President Donald Trump, the barrage has become too much to handle for the two groups manning the barricades for House Republicans: the National Republican Congressional Committee, their official campaign arm, and the Congressional Leadership Fund, their designated super PAC.
“Our guys are taking a beating,” Rob Simms, a Republican consultant and former NRCC executive director, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
America First Action, a third GOP group and Trump’s designated super PAC, is playing a limited role in defending the Republican Party’s threatened House majority, with investments in 10 key races.
Democrats are challenging in districts from coast to coast amid a brewing blue storm sustained by a rebellion in America’s historically Republican suburbs. Women are the tip of the spear for Democrats, with their strong support helping the party build a durable generic ballot lead of more than 7 percentage points that suggests voters are poised to rebuke the House GOP on Election Day.
In a fresh poll from Quinnipiac University, Democras led Republicans 49 percent to 42 percent on the question of which party voters would prefer to be in charge on Capitol Hill. Significantly, the Democrats led by a whopping 18 points among women, with Republicans leading among men by just 5 points. Democrats also enjoyed an 11-point lead among independents.
Stoking the fire are several Democratic groups specifically focused on a House takeover. Among them: EMILY’s List, a group that funds female candidates that support abortion rights; the League of Conservation Voter; the Environmental Defense Fund; End Citizens United, a group that wants to reduce the influence of money in politics; and Change Now, a super PAC seeded by unions.
There’s also Swing Left, a group that harnesses liberal opposition to Trump by funneling grass-roots volunteers to Democratic campaigns; Giffords PAC, a pro-gun control super PAC run by Democratic former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; and Independence USA, a super PAC financed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that is pouring millions into expensive media markets, like Los Angeles, where Republican incumbents are in trouble.
Since House Republicans ascended to power in 2010 in a massive backlash against President Barack Obama, much of this crucial assistance was unavailable to the Democrats, leaving the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC, counterparts to the NRCC and CLF, to fend for themselves. The Left’s focus until now was protecting, and winning, the Senate.
“For the first cycle in a decade, the priority in Democratic infrastructure is to win the House,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist and DCCC veteran. “The Trump administration is fueling the desire of Democrats to win the House so that we have at least one arm of government.”
The NRCC reported raising more than $150 million in the current two-year cycle, through the end of August; CLF’s haul during the same period exceeded $100 million. Both groups are investing in voter turnout operations, with an additional boost in field organizing and data analytics being provided by the Republican National Committee.
But their efforts are proving insufficient to save some of the most vulnerable House Republicans, many of whom are being carpet-bombed on the airwaves and outflanked on the ground by multiple Democratic groups, raising even more doubts about GOP prospects for holding the majority. Most Republican-affiliated outside groups, like the Koch brothers network, are sinking resources in the Senate.
Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado is a prime example of what incumbent Republicans are up against. The hard-nosed campaigner is perennially endangered but always survived in suburban Denver’s 6th Congressional District. Coffman won re-election in 2016 by forging strong connections with the array of ethnically diverse voters that populate the district, even as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton easily defeated Trump there.
This fall, under fire from more than a half-dozen liberal groups, Coffman appears to be fading in his race against Democrat Jason Crow, an attorney. The DCCC is spending $2.4 million; House Majority PAC, $1.6 million; Change Now, $620,000; End Citizens United, $505,000; Environmental Defense Action, $100,000; Giffords PAC, $1.9 million; League of Conservation Voters, $700,000.
CLF responded by pulling out and redirected resources elsewhere, concluding it could no longer hold back the blue tide targeting Colorado’s 6th District. In terms of substantial advertising by a GOP-friendly group, only the NRCC is left. The committee apparently disagrees with CLF and has upped its investment in Coffman.
“Republicans should be under no illusion that for the first time in recent memory and despite record fundraising and spending by CLF, House Republicans are going to be massively outspent in October,” said a Republican strategist involved in House races. “We are facing a spending tsunami.”
One such glaring example is Alexander Soros, the son of globalist billionaire George Soros, has given nearly $3 million to Democratic committees this election cycle for the midterm elections, Federal Election Commission filings show.
Alex acts as the deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, his father’s nonprofit that disburses large sums of cash to Democrat-Communist organizations and causes, and has followed in his father’s footsteps in recent years by becoming a major liberal donor.
Alex’s largest donation this cycle was for $2 million to the Senate Majority PAC (SMP), a committee launched by former staffers of retired Nevada senator Harry Reid that is dedicated to electing and keeping Democrats in the Senate.
SMP reports nearly $80 million in contributions this cycle, and Alex’s $2 million donation makes him one of the top donors to the PAC, its filings show. The group has already dished out more than $30 million in independent expenditures this cycle backing Democrats.
Alex added $33,900 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s coffers. Another $101,700 was given to the committee’s headquarters account while $101,700 went to the committee’s recount account.
Alex supplied a maxed-out contribution of $33,900 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with $101,700 going to both its headquarters and recount accounts.
In addition to the DCCC and DSCC, $33,900 was provided to the DNC with $101,700 going to its headquarters account.
Citizens for a Better Illinois, a super PAC established earlier this year to support Democrat Marie Newman in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district during the Democratic primaries, received $35,000 from Alex. Newman was ultimately edged by incumbent Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinkski.
Soros additionally gave to dozens of Democratic Senate and House candidates for the midterms including maxed out contributions to the likes of Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, Arizona Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema, Montana senator Jon Tester, Missouri senator Claire McCaskill, Florida senator Bill Nelson, and Nevada senator Jacky Rosen.
In the past, Soros has cozied up with Democratic leadership and posted pictures of himself drinking with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), the Daily Caller reported last year.
“Always great to catch up with senator @chuckschumer who has seized the moment as the head of the #democrats in the #senate and masterfully helped preserve the assault on our nations values and #democracy! Thank you Chuck! #chuckschumer #legend #opposition #dumptrump,” Soros wrote on Instagram.
Soros put a total of $2,775,364.27 into backing Democrats this cycle and did not respond to requests for comment on the contributions.
For financial details and links, click here.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 2nd, 2018