Conservatives are poised to launch a massive offensive against Democrats in districts in which they are vulnerable. The weapon of choice? Impeachment.
Many have viewed the Democrats’ obsession with impeachment as a double-edged sword, one that could help Trump and the GOP more than harming them. If the planned moves by an alliance of right-leaning organizations are any indication, the political strategy on which the Democrats have relied for 2020 could be their undoing.
A coalition of conservative advocacy organizations is coordinating a messaging campaign aimed at 31 congressional districts that might be willing to oust their Democratic representatives over impeachment. Specifically, these are districts that went for Trump in 2016, then later elected Democratic representatives.
According to Politico, the campaign will involve “millions of dollars worth of TV spots, Facebook ads, texts and tweets blaring that the ‘radical left’ is trying to remove the president after a ‘witch hunt’ — and that their Democratic representative is complicit.”
“At least 31 House Democrats are hating their lives right now,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
It is not yet clear whether or not the campaign will succeed; Democrats expect to lose only a few seats due to impeachment. But if the right plays their cards right, and the progressive left continues to alienate voters by pursuing their efforts to remove Trump, there is a chance the House could flip.
The coalition includes American Conservative Union, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Presidential Coalition, and America First Policies. Club for Growth, which initially opposed President Trump during 2016, has also joined the effort, airing TV ads in nine of the districts. The group is also pushing for censure of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
The principal message centers on pointing out how the Democrats are wasting time and resources on this “witch hunt,” while neglecting their other duties. This message would echo sentiments expressed by voters in some of these districts who indicated that they might not support their representative if they continue to push for impeachment.
FreedomWorks is engaging in a text message campaign calling on individuals to sign a petition against the “Dirty 30” districts on impeachment. America First Policies is also using text messages telling recipients that “Your money wasted & priorities ignored. A Hopelessly Partisan Mess. End the Witch Hunt!” This particular effort has already prompted 75,000 calls to the offices of the target representatives, according to Kelly Sadler, the group’s spokesperson.
The American Action Network is spending about $8.5 million on broadcast, cable TV, and digital ads pointing out how the endeavor to remove Trump from office has taken away from progress on issues that are actually important.
These are only a few of the tactics the coalition is leveraging to coax more voters into abandoning their Democratic representatives. But will they work? Well, certain developments might indicate that at least some of their efforts are paying off.
Members of these organizations referred to the recent insurrection on the part of House Democrats who called for the party to move away from impeachment and towards censure of the president. Their calls have gone unheeded, but the fact that they made such a move reveals that they are concerned about their chances for re-election.
And let’s not forget Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ), who recently announced that he would be switching his party membership from Democrat to Republican. While his decision may not have much of an impact on who controls the House, it has become an undeniable PR disaster for the Democratic Party.
Is the notion that the GOP could take back the House in 2020 a long shot? Sure. But with the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot over this impeachment debacle, it is certainly worth a try. Polls continue to show that support for impeachment is declining, and constituents in many districts are becoming fed up with the Democrats’ refusal to work on issues that matter to average Americans.
If the Republicans can figure out how to win back suburban voters, there is a chance they can control the legislative as well as the executive branch. In the words of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, let’s hope they don’t “monkey it up.”
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