Senate Brief: With 99 Days To Go, Every Electoral Trend Is Bad News for Republicans

Week of Monday, July 30, 2018

IN BRIEF: With 99 days until Election Day, every trend is heading the wrong way for Republican chances. A map that began overwhelmingly in their favor has shifted toward Democrats as political self-sabotage, poor candidate recruitment, and abysmal fundraising have chipped away at their odds.

  • Republicans’ repeated attacks on healthcare have decimated their support amongst independent and moderate voters, while healthcare remains the top issue on the ballot. Two GOP Senate candidates — Missouri’s Josh Hawley and West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey — are co-counsels on a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
  • Republicans aren’t campaigning on their unpopular tax law, and Democrats are. D.C. Republicans staked their political futures on a tax law that has proved deeply unpopular with voters across the country. On the campaign trail, GOP Senate candidates are running in the other direction, while Democrats are highlighting the tax law’s giveaways to corporations and the top 1%.
  • National Republicans’ weak candidate recruitment in winnable states is taking its toll. Some, like Rep. Kevin Cramer, were D.C. Republicans’ last choice. Others, like Rep. Mike Braun, have been irreparably damaged by nasty primary fights. And in states like Arizona, candidates are still struggling to win their primaries in contests increasingly portrayed as Trump vs. the D.C. establishment.
  • Last week’s fundraising numbers yielded disastrous numbers for the GOP. Democrats are out-fundraising Republicans in nearly every competitive Senate race. CNBC writes, “Democrats in eight of nine key battleground states have generated a substantial fundraising advantage, raking in far more cash than their GOP opponents.”

ONE FOR THE ROAD: Paper Planes, M.I.A. (2007)

AND HAPPY MONDAY from American Bridge. Follow us at @JoshuaKarp @AmeliaPenniman @EmmaBeckerman1