OUTSIDE GROUPS

Club for Growth Plans to Play Big in General Elections

CLF placed 55 districts on its target list.

March 7, 2019, 10:36 a.m.

The Club for Growth "successfully torpedoed a candidate" in the PA-12 "nominating convention over the weekend and is already interviewing candidates for two House special elections in" NC-03 and NC-09. But the Club is "playing the long game by staying engaged beyond primaries. The club’s super PAC spent in more general elections last cycle than it ever has before and expects that trend to continue in 2020."

"The club’s general election activity was, in part, an indirect effect of the Trump presidency, which put at stake many longtime GOP House districts that hadn’t been in play before. Next year, the club will be looking to win back some of those seats, including" VA-07, SC-01, and UT-04, "as well as watching for retirements. ... The club’s PAC has already started bundling for five incumbents that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting:" Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), Steve Chabot (OH-01), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Ted Budd (NC-13), and Scott Perry (PA-10).

"In the days before the Republicans’ March 2 nominating convention, Club for Growth Action sent four mailers to the convention conferees and alternates attacking state Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R). It also mailed a packet of opposition research on Wheeland to each of the conferees’ homes. Wheeland ended up withdrawing the morning of the convention, calling the attacks from the club the 'perfect hit job.'" Continuing that trend, the Club plans to make primary endorsements in North Carolina's special elections by April. (Roll Call)

CLF MAPS OUT 2020. Congressional Leadership Fund President Dan Conston released a memo Thursday detailing the group's plan to win back the majority. His top line: "We enter the 2020 election cycle with a clear path back to the Majority. Democrats occupy 13 congressional seats that President Trump won by more than 6 points, many of which he won by 10-plus."

The main priority for the group will be the 31 Democratic-held seats President Trump carried in 2016.

The group also said it sees opportunity in 24 Hillary Clinton-won districts. "Most of these districts are outside major cities with high average median incomes and higher than average levels of college education," Conston wrote in the memo, noting they are in play with strong recruits.

The full list of those districts: OR-04, NJ-07, PA-07, KS-03, TX-07, CA-48, TX-32, CA-10, WA-08, FL-13, AZ-02, NV-04, CA-45, CA-25, IL-06, FL-07, CA-49, CA-39, CO-06, MN-03, VA-10, CA-21, FL-26, FL-27. (Politico)

Recent polling (Jan. 24-26; 800 RVs; +/- 3.46%) in 10 of Trump districts found a majority supported Trump's policies, 54-43 percent, and a plurality, 49-48 percent, backed his job performance. And by a 41-34 percent margin voters in the districts say Trump has been "more open to compromise" on immigration and DACA protection than congressional Democrats. The survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the RNC in MN-07, NY-22, SC-01, NY-11, OK-05, PA-08, ME-02, VA-07, NJ-03, and NY-19. (release)

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