Politics

Countdown To Midterms — How Republicans Plan To Maintain Control Of The House In The Last 60 Days Of Campaigning

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor

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Vandana Rambaran Political Reporter
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The head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in charge of raising campaign funds for upcoming House races, says he feels the party’s prospects of maintaining its majority is “pretty good” come November.

With roughly 60 more days until the midterm elections, the NRCC is tapping Democratic platforms such as abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, impeaching President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama’s presence on the Democratic campaign trail as soon as this weekend to use against the Republican Party’s opponents and reinvigorate the GOP base.

“We’ve done what it takes to bring safety and security to America, as well as prosperity,” Republican Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio said at a breakfast meeting Friday in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. He noted the uptick in spending for border security and low unemployment numbers under the Trump administration.

“The energy on the Democratic Party is all about abolishing ICE,” Stivers continued. “The radical left agenda is helping us.”

If Democrats gain the necessary 23 seats in November to steal the House from Republican control, a main point on their agenda could be impeaching Trump, whose approval ratings have also dropped to 41 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics poll conducted from Aug. 23 to Sept. 6.

“What makes me nervous is obviously the House. We don’t want to lose the House. We recognize that if we lose the House, there are Democrats who have talked impeachment,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Hill.TV Thursday. “We do think that losing the House puts that at risk, and puts that in play.”

But Stivers insists the thought of impeachment only helps to get “Republicans excited.”

“We just have to keep from losing 23,” he said.

Stivers also expects that Obama’s presence on the campaign trail, meant to inspire Democratic voters to the polls on election day, will also inadvertently work in Republicans’ favor. (RELATED: Michelle Obama To Register People To Vote Ahead Of The Midterms)

“For three cycles President Obama fired up Republicans like nobody,” Stivers said, referring to the elections of 2010, 2012 and 2014, where Republicans seized on their dislike of the former president’s political agenda and rhetoric to sway voters. “I’m happy if he wants to do it again.”

Democrats have an eight-point lead over Republicans on the generic congressional ballot, according to a poll by RealClearPolitics, but Stivers said the NRCC will only be spending campaign funds in districts slated to have the most competitive races, including Virginia, Minnesota and Texas.

“I don’t need to spend enough to have our guys win or you lose, they just have to win,” Stivers said. “When I’ve spent enough money for our guys to win, guess what we do, we stop spending.”

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