The GOP’s Kamikazes Are Back
Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, looking at data from 50 battleground House districts, says Republicans have “lost significant ground,” and there is a “significant probability” that Democrats will pick up seats in next year’s election. “When you talk about the mess in Congress, Republicans own that,” he says. Yet he stops well short of saying Democrats can regain the majority next year. He does think based on his data that a gain of eight seats, which is what the Democrats netted in 2012, is within reach. Bill Clinton did it in 1998, with Democrats picking up four seats even as Republicans were impeaching him.
“The reason Clinton won seats is we made a victim out of him,” says LaTourette. “Americans love winners and they love underdogs, and when we took a sledge hammer to kill ants, people turned against us.” The former GOP congressman isn’t worried about his party keeping the House. He thinks Republicans will hold and maybe expand their majority, “and they’ll see that as vindication.” That’s his worry, then the long promised and long overdue re-branding will be pushed even further into the future.