The Republican National Committee (RNC) already has its eye on the 2018 midterm elections—as well as some gubernatorial races this year—a spokesman told Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel this weekend.
Steve Guest, an RNC spokesman, said on the show:
We’re getting ready for 2018 but we’re also getting ready for a couple gubernatorial elections that are happening this year. Virginia is one of the key races we’re really zoning in on. But going into 2018, and for any election going forward—this is what we did for 2016, and it worked really well and we’ll be doing it in the future—the RNC, the Republican National Committee, has a great research organization, a great data operation and a great get-out-the-vote effort that really motivates lots of people to get out and vote. For example, our research operation is there to prepare documents—opposition research for want of a better term—that if the Democrat says something [controversial], we want to have research there to catch them.
After going through how Democrats regularly flip-flop on issues, Guest noted that “We just released something on how Cory Booker praised Sen. Sessions a year ago” for working with him on civil rights issues, but now Booker was testifying last week against incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“They should be very competitive, and hopefully the Republican Party as a whole can continue to build on the Republican majority that we’ve kept for the past couple years,” Guest said. “That’s the whole goal: To continue increasing the number of elected Republicans in the House, in the Senate and now, after eight years, we have the White House back. So, having all branches of government with Republicans, that’s setting the stage for some really good things.”
The map in 2018 does not look promising for Democrats at all. Republicans generally have much better operations in midterm off-year elections anyway, as conservatives are more energetic than progressives, and the map is a brutal one for Democrats in terms of Senate races.
There are 23 Senate Democrats up in 2018, and 10 of them are from states that President-elect Donald J. Trump won in the 2016 election: Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Missouri, and North Dakota. There are only eight Republicans up for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018, and just one of them is up in a state that failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton won: Nevada’s Dean Heller. Independent Angus King of Maine—who caucuses with Democrats—is also up, something that may be trouble for the Democrats since Trump and Clinton split Maine in half, each winning one of the state’s two congressional districts, breaking the electoral vote prize in two for the first time in U.S. history. Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, another independent who caucuses with Democrats, may not even be safe because his reliably liberal state just elected a Republican governor in Phil Scott this cycle. Other Democratic seats, like the ones in New Mexico, Minnesota, Virginia, and more, are from states Clinton barely won with less than 50 percent of the vote.
There are two gubernatorial elections in 2017, in Virginia and New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, is leaving office so Republicans will be hoping to find a suitable replacement for him in the Garden State, but GOP figures say that they’ve got their eyes on Virginia’s governorship with Clinton ally and current Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe looking weaker and weaker by the minute as he’s engulfed by scandal.
There are a number of gubernatorial elections in 2018 in which Republicans could succeed in taking back control from Democrats as well, in places like Colorado, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania; but the GOP will need to play some defense on this front in places like Florida, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Illinois, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Maryland.
That doesn’t even get into House races, and with a number of Democrats making critical mistakes already out the gate—like skipping President-elect Trump’s inauguration—many of the incumbent House Democrats, especially the ones who rallied around lightning rod controversial House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, may find themselves in seriously vulnerable spots in 2018 and beyond.
While the RNC prepares for this now, and is putting in place aggressive expansion plans for the future, their rivals over at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) can’t even select a new chairman. The race for DNC chairman has gotten ugly, with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and outgoing Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez emerging as the leading candidates, even though they’d both drag the party much further out of the mainstream than it already is. Other candidates include New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley, who’s mired in scandal, and South Carolina Democratic chairman Jaime Harrison—among others in the donnybrook of a race to the bottom.
This all comes as the Democratic bench—lower level offices, like statehouse members or U.S. House members—gets older and dwindles in numbers, with even fewer Democratic U.S. Senators or governors to choose from in a party that can hardly hold itself together walking into 2018 and then 2020. People like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) or the aforementioned Booker of New Jersey are already complicating potential presidential bids they may make against Trump in 2020 with stonewalling efforts against his incoming administration.
The GOP bench, with a majority of governorships and statehouses under GOP control right now as well, the RNC’s Guest added, is “very deep.”
“Barack Obama has been terrible for Democrats up and down the ballot,” Guest said. “Near a thousand Democrats have lost their seats in statehouses, governorships, throughout the country since he’s been elected. Republicans have been able to capitalize on it and now we have the White House.”
LISTEN TO STEVE GUEST OF THE RNC ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY: