The 2020 election is more than a year away, but some Republican lawmakers are already losing hope about their chances of winning back the House.
President Trump’s approval ratings in key swing states are extremely low. Infighting on the GOP leadership team and a significant retirement have raised questions about the party’s campaign strategy.
Republicans acknowledge that many of the at-risk Democratic freshmen in Trump districts are going to be difficult to beat as they resist calls for impeachment and stay focused on kitchen-table issues such as health care and infrastructure.
“It’s going to be tough. [The Democrats] have really good majority-makers — [Reps.] Abigail Spanberger, Dean Phillips, Max Rose. They’ve got some good members that know what they’re doing. They seem to not be embracing the crazy,” said one senior GOP lawmaker who requested anonymity.
“There is a path for us to take it back, but they have good candidates. They have money they are still raising left and right,” the source added. “You just don’t know if the intensity of our voters will be enough, because [Democrats] are still engaged.”
And, in the first three months of this year, the House Democrats’ campaign arm raked in more than $32 million, while the GOP’s campaign operation raised $25 million.
Another GOP lawmaker said it will be hard for Republicans to make the case to voters they deserve the majority when they failed to repeal ObamaCare or fund Trump’s border wall in the last Congress when they controlled all the levels of the government.
“It would be very difficult to take back the majority when most people see it as a squandered opportunity when Republicans had the majority,” the second GOP lawmaker said.
Democrats now enjoy a 235-198 advantage, meaning Republicans need to win a net of 20 seats to win back control of the House in 2020.