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NRCC Patriot Program Backs 20 'Vulnerable' GOP House Members

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 09:27 AM

With the addition of eight new designees, the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program's "Class of 2016" is up to 20 "vulnerable" House members, Roll Call reports.

The NRCC launched the Patriot Program in 2009, following President Barack Obama's election to the White House by a sizable majority. Its goal is to "maintain and gain" the Republican majority in the 2016 election cycle, according to NRCC chairman, Rep. Greg Walden, who represents Oregon's 2nd Congressional District.

The legislators who have been added to receive fundraising and organizational support from the NRCC are Michigan Reps. Dan Benishek and Tim Walberg, Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, California Reps. Jeff Denham and Steve Knight and New York Rep. Elise Stefanik.

In an attempt to upset the Republican majority, Democrats have set their sights on those congressional seats in 2016, though each has received ratings of "Leans Republican," "Safe Republican," "Republican Leaning," or "Tilts Republican" by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.

Republicans picked up 13 seats in the 2014 elections, giving the GOP a 30-seat majority.

"Our new Patriots have diligently shown they have what it takes to work hard and run aggressive and successful campaigns," Walden said. "They are determined to work for a better economy, a strong national defense, and to continue fighting for hard-working families in their districts. I am honored to work beside them in the House and I am excited to help ensure their re-election well beyond 2016."

The eight House members join the dozen first announced by the NRCC in February. Those representatives are Martha McSally of Arizona, David Valadao of California, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Robert Dold and Mike Bost of Illinois, David Young of Iowa, Bruce Poliquin of Maine, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, Cresent Hardy of Nevada, Will Hurd of Texas, and New York's Lee Zeldin and John Katko.

Democrats have been huddling to come up with a strategy for messaging in 2016, particularly how to reach independent voters, according to Politico.

"We're going to build our message on a foundation of Republicans who continue to work for special interests and Democrats who are focused on hard-working Americans," New York Rep. Steve Israel told Politico. "We'll talk specifically about the solutions we bring to the table, solutions that allow people to own their own home and help people save for their kids' college education."

In an April 30 edition of Sabato's Crystal Ball, published by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, Emory University political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster report that Republicans have won a majority in the House in nine of 12 elections, a phenomenon they say is largely attributable to "strong partisanship."

"Our analysis indicates that the recent Republican 'lock' on the House of Representatives is best explained by the inefficient distribution of Democratic voters combined with a new phenomenon in American politics — the rise of strong partisanship," according to Abramowitz and Webster. "Strong partisanship refers to a situation in which the partisan identities of voters are strongly related to other salient and political characteristics."

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With the addition of eight new designees, the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program's "Class of 2016" is up to 20 "vulnerable" House members, Roll Call reports.
NRCC, House, GOP, vulnerable seats
Friday, 01 May 2015 09:27 AM
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