House Democrats are already "measuring their drapes," buoyed by stories about their own fundraising prowess that will surely catapult them into leadership offices in a few short months. Not so fast, Karl Rove wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal.
"The structure of this year's midterm elections is complicated, so headlines about important campaign elements like fundraising demand closer examination," Rove writes.
One problem, Rove cites, is that stories about fundraising often zero in on the cumulative money raised by Democrats vs. Republicans in certain districts vs. head-to-head. So vulnerable Republican incumbents in districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 would seem to be in trouble, when you read the headlines, but reality is far different, Rove writes.
Republicans do, however, face legitimate fundraising challenges in two California districts left wide open by the retirements of Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce, Rove writes.
Rove suggests Issa and Royce and the rest of the retiring GOP lawmakers from Clinton districts donate their combined $7.4 million war chests to their Republican brethren running to win those seats.
But in the end, races will be won by those with the better message as well as a robust campaign, Rove writes.
"Control of the House next year will depend even more than usual on the quality of Republican candidates and their campaigns. Showing authenticity, deploying a powerful narrative, and reaching out to voters carefully and persistently will make the difference," Rove writes.
"So will money—even for Republican incumbents who have done well in fundraising thus far. Their success corralling bucks shows they are worthy of further support."
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