In a new Op-Ed for Fox News, former Speaker Newt Gingrich predicts Republicans can have a great election year and take back the House.
In this context, I was startled recently to hear Congresswoman Elise Stefanik say 2020 was going to be the year of the House Republican woman. She went on to assert that there was a historic record being set for Republican women filing to run for the House.
I checked in with Chairman Tom Emmer at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and found that, if anything, Stefanik had understated the momentum of new recruits.
With House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and the leadership team going all out, the House Republicans are setting a remarkably encouraging series of records.
Consider these numbers: The total number of Republicans filed for House seats so far is 928, according to Federal Elections Commission (FEC) figures – or 188 more than the total at the same time in 2010 (740). The year 2010 matters because it was the last time Nancy Pelosi was kicked out of the majority and Speaker John Boehner led the House GOP to its biggest gain in modern times – with his “where are the jobs” slogan. In fact, in 2010 the House GOP gained 63 seats for a majority of 242 Republicans.
The House Republican recruiting surge is also tremendously widespread. So far, I am told that Republican candidates are running in 380 congressional districts (compared with 341 districts at this point in 2010).
Importantly, women and minority candidates have surged. This is an area which has historically been a Republican weakness. In Texas alone, there are at least 30 Republican women candidates. So far, 186 women are seeking to become House Republicans in total. The previous record was 133 women running for the House as Republicans. And filing is still open in a number of states, so the number will almost certainly increase.
I am told by the NRCC there are also 146 Republican candidates from minority communities. Furthermore, 188 veterans are running for the House as Republicans.
I will write more details about women and minority candidates in future columns. However, I think it is important to note a profound change underway in financing Republican campaigns.
The Democrats had an enormous advantage in the 2018 election because they had built an online donation system called ActBlue. ActBlue had been founded in 2004 to enable small-dollar donors to easily and efficiently help Democratic candidates all over the country.
If retirements are the story of the past, then recruitment is the story of the future. This is the story on which Leader McCarthy and his team are focused.
I suspect it’s the story that will make him Speaker McCarthy in January 2021.
Read more here.