In a memo Tuesday, Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) President Dan Conston outlined a five-point plan for how House Republicans can regain the majority in 2022.
Conston stressed building on the recruiting successes of 2020, repairing the fundraising problem on the “candidate side,” contrasting the left’s socialist policies with GOP policies, taking redistricting into account, and “maximizing the battlefield.”
“We will win back the majority if we’re clear-eyed about the obstacles in front of us, apply the lessons learned from 2020, and follow our plan to victory,” wrote Conston (pdf).
The CLF spent $140 million during the 2020 elections, helping House Republicans get within five seats of winning the majority. The SuperPAC now plans to play a similar role for the 2022 cycle.
Conston said he wants to continue the trend of 2020 of winning with candidates who are women, minorities, or veterans. He specifically mentioned three House members who should be targeted during the 2022 races, writing, “Continuing to recruit similar candidates is a foundational building block to the majority in 2022.”
Conston mentioned Reps. Jared Golden (D-Maine), Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.), and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) because they are from Trump-friendly rural and working class districts. He suggested “star Navy SEAL” Derrick Van Orden run against Kind but wants stronger candidates to take on Golden and Cartwright.
Conston said the 2022 candidates should take online funding raising more seriously and that fundraising is the “biggest threat” to taking back the House.
“Too many candidates didn’t raise enough money to wage sufficient campaigns, in some races leaving independent expenditure efforts to fund nearly all advertising and field and voter contact programs,” he wrote.
To win back the majority, Republicans also need to highlight the “Democrats’ overreach” on issues like keeping schools closed, limiting fracking, and canceling the pipeline.
“In contrast, CLF stayed laser-focused on kitchen table issues that actually impact people’s lives: threats to their jobs, impending tax hikes, and risks to public safety. Our 2020 message was a significant element of our success,” the memo states.
Conston predicts redistricting will bring on “painful member-vs.-member primaries,” but he expects redistricting to ultimately help Republicans pick up seats in states like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Montana because “voters are fleeing poorly-run high-tax Democrat-held states for the friendly environs of well-run low-tax Republican-led states.”
In a Saturday Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) panel with Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp, House GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.) said that he’s so confident that Democrats will lose their majority in the House in 2022 that he would bet his own house on it.
“We’re going to get the majority back. We’re five seats away,” he said. “I would bet my house. My personal house. Don’t tell my wife, but I will bet it. This is the smallest majority the Democrats have had in 100 years.”
Conston was also confident that Republicans could win at least the five seats needed to win back the majority because the National Republican Congressional Committee reported that there are 50 districts that have the potential to go to the GOP.
“In early February, the NRCC unveiled nearly 50 offensive targets held by Democrats,” said Conston. These districts include rural and working class areas, key suburban districts, and districts with large Asian and Latino populations.
“If we stay vigilant to raise the money, recruit the candidates, and remind the voters of the clear contrast between our parties’ vision for America, we believe voters will respond,” he said.