President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to ride to a second term on the backs of the so-called “squad” of four radical, anti-American, socialist members of Congress who have dominated the news cycle ever since the beginning of 2019. Now a lot of wealthy Republican donors have decided to open their checkbooks, on the theory that continued Democratic control of the House will increase the strength of socialism.
The Washington Examiner explains:
“Wealthy Republican donors frightened of a socialist takeover in Washington have boosted support for House Republicans despite concerns about the party’s direction, providing a ray of hope for recapturing the majority in 2020.
Democrats scoff at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for insisting Democrats in Congress are a bunch of socialists led by ‘the squad,’ four liberal firebrands in the House frequently at odds with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the message is paying dividends, literally, with Republican donors writing five, six and seven-figure checks to the party’s congressional campaign committees and affiliated super PACs.
Robust engagement by GOP financiers, hardly guaranteed with the uncertainty of President Trump’s reelection prospects and after the stinging defeat House Republicans suffered in the midterm elections, is making them optimistic about a quick rebound. After Republicans lost the House in 2006, big contributions practically dried up, a donor depression that lasted well into the 2010 cycle, when it became apparent the Democratic majority was vulnerable.”
Some of the well-heeled Republicans have reservations about President Trump. However, as the Examiner explains, fear of the Squad and most of the Democratic presidential candidates has proven to be a powerful motivator. After a dearth of contributions at the beginning of the year, the money has started to flow like a river into Republican coffers.
The American Spectator notes that the prospect of the Republicans taking back the House is quite good. The article notes polling and focus group data that suggests that Americans have started to agree with President Trump’s naming the Democrats as the “Do-Nothing Party” because of their obsession with investigations and tearing down the president. The recent disaster of the Mueller Hearings buttresses that view.
The NRCC is targeting 55 Democratic-held House seats, many of them that were won by Trump in 2016, but others as well that are deemed to be vulnerable. The idea that many of the seats that the Democrats won in 2018 were won by candidates who pretended to be moderates. However, if these so-called “moderates” were to be too closely identified with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the Squad, the more likely that their political careers will be cut short.
Fear of AOC is not only motivating Republican moneymen but is also harming the House Democratic caucus. The AOC linked Justice Democrats are targeting some of the moderate with more leftist primary opponents. They were instrumental in putting AOC in the House by supporting her primary challenge against an entrenched member of the House Democratic leadership. They hope to replicate that success in several other districts in 2020.
Political observers suspect that most of these attempts will not be met with success. However, the moderate Democrats will have to spend money and effort to fend off these attempts to knock them off. Some might be tempted to shade their positions just a little to the left during the primaries, which would make them vulnerable for the general election.
The Democrats only have a 17-seat majority in the House. The Republicans thus do not have to pick up very many seats to flip back the lower legislative body to their control.
To sum up, an influx of campaign cash from wealthy Republican donors, the image of the Democratic House as a “do-nothing party” interested only in investigations and Trump-bashing, and the vulnerability of some House Democrats have combined to give the GOP good hopes for delivering the House in 2020.
The Washington Post has reported that Democrats are in disarray over what to do now that the Mueller hearings have proven to be a bust. The Democrats have counted on Russian collusion as a way to end the Trump presidency early and to ensure victory in 2020. Political pundits are almost universal in their conclusion that those hopes have been dashed. As of right now, the momentum for taking back the House and for Trump winning reelection is with the GOP.