The only limit on Republican gains in the midterm elections is that the GOP may be aiming too low. There are dozens of additional House seats we may be able to win if we would just adjust our sights upward.
An analysis of the published polling data on 80 House races indicates that there are 54 districts now represented by Democrats in which Republicans are now ahead and another 19 where they are within five points and where the Democratic incumbent is under 50 percent of the vote. That’s 73 likely wins. (The undecided vote always goes against the incumbent, so if a congressman is significantly under 50 percent, even though he may have a lead, he is likely to lose).
Why aren’t there more than 73? Because we haven’t tried. Only about 160 of the Democrats’ 239 congressional districts are even remotely considered to be in play. But that playbook is badly out of date. The Republican message has raced far ahead of the GOP campaign and put a lot of new seats in play. We just have to work these districts to win them.
In fact, there are no polls to analyze in most of these 160 districts. Nobody considered them in play enough to poll them. We just don’t know how vulnerable these extra incumbents are. But, given the surprising vulnerability of the first 80 seats, we believe that a substantial number of these formerly invincible congressmen can be ousted.
So we are launching a new effort: Project 100, in conjunction with ReaganPac, Michael Reagan’s organization, to raise our sights and do independent expenditures in an additional 20 or so districts to give the Republicans in these newly marginal seats a big boost. We hope to raise $2 million so as to be able to put $100,000, on average, into each of these districts
There is more than a mere game of numbers at stake. Most of the 73 seats which now seem likely pick-ups are freshmen or sophomores. Relatively few are among the House Democratic leadership. When you want to kill a snake, go for the head, not the body.
We hope that polling will show that the likes of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank are within our reach. We’ll take the pawns. But we’d like to snare a few bishops, rooks, castles and knights in our sweep. (We will dethrone the queen, but she’ll still be in the House. Next cycle, we win checkmate and take the king).
But a win of 100 seats, or anything on that order of magnitude, would be such a total repudiation of the Democratic Party that it would send shockwaves through the liberal establishment. And it would amount to the eradication of an entire generation of liberal Democratic congressmen.
Some will say that our effort is constructive if only because it will force the Democrats to pour money into these new districts, diluting their ability to campaign for more marginal seats. But we are convinced that these additional seats can and will be won.
Pessimism is the only limit on the potential of Republican gains this year. If we go for 100, we can win 100!
We will forward details later this week on how to sign up and help us!
© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann