The Republican State Leadership Committee has released a target list of state legislative chambers where Republicans hope to maintain control in some locations while flipping Democrat-held statehouses in others.
The list, shared with Politico, gives its first focus on defending GOP majorities in battleground states, including in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where Republicans hold the lead by a combined margin of 24 seats.
"Voters are looking for a counterbalance," Dee Duncan, the president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, said in an interview. "I think that's what Republicans on the ballot are going to be this fall. I think there's going to be places that we're able to play in that we haven't in the past, and I think we'll be able to defend our places that we won."
The party, meanwhile, is also hoping to build on its wins in 2021 in Virginia and on how it narrowed the Democrats' majority in New Jersey, and are hoping to push for wins in states like Minnesota and Colorado while whittling down Democrat majorities on blue states with hopes of winning even more control in future elections.
Politico notes that the RSLC's list does not differ much from one shared almost a year ago by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
Duncan, however, said new data, including President Joe Biden's troubled approval ratings and recent victories in states like Virginia and New Jersey, are putting his party in a good place to win in state legislative races.
He added that the state contests are "100% going to be nationalized," and said the topics of education, crime, and the economy will drive campaigns, particularly the economy, because on that, "President Biden has been such a failure."
Michigan may be the biggest battleground state, while Republicans also hope to gain control in Minnesota, where control of the legislature is split with Democrats holding the House and the GOP holding the Senate.
Duncan also said Republicans have high hopes for Colorado, where Democrats hold majorities in the state House and Senate, as it "looks a lot like Virginia."
He added that the RSLC hopes to break its fundraising record of $67 million, reached during the 2020 redistricting cycle. Last year, the committee and its affiliations raised $33 million, marking the most raised in an odd-numbered year.
The state legislative races will take up most of the group's spending, said Duncan.
The RSLC also hopes to invest more in state judicial races this year, said Duncan, pointing out that while the committee is not involved in redistricting, courts across the country rejected congressional maps that were drawn by legislatures based on arguments of partisan gerrymandering.
Duncan, meanwhile, would not say if his committee has any red lines against any candidates, including involvement at the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol or those who continue to push to decertify the 2020 election.
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