WASHINGTON — The Republican State Leadership Committee is off to a rough 2020 after an awful 2019. It started off with reports the committee is in turmoil, followed by spending big on false attack ads, losing seats Trump won, and being outraised by Democrats. It’s clear it’s going to be a tough election year for the RSLC.
“Democrats and Republicans both know what’s at stake in legislative races this cycle,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “While we’re off to our strongest start ever, the RSLC is completely falling apart. Republicans are reaching all kinds of new lows like using a public health crisis as a voter suppression tactic and running fabricated attack ads. It’s no wonder we’re outraising them.”
Here are some highlights from the RSLC’s rough couple of months.
- It started in December, when Politico reported that senior officials were fleeing the committee. The RSLC was also reportedly still reeling from historic losses in Virginia, when the DLCC flipped the General Assembly from red to blue for the first time in a generation.
- It didn’t get better from there. The DLCC reported outraising Republicans in the month of January. The DLCC then broke a February fundraising record, which must have intimidated the RSLC out of releasing their numbers that month. These two months culminated in the DLCC outraising Republicans in the first quarter of the year for the first time ever, setting Democrats up for success in an election that will determine who has the power of the pen in redistricting.
- NBC News reported that the Democrats had over double the number of women in elected office compared to Republicans, at 1,455 Democratic women compared to only 670 Republican women. Democrats also have significantly more diverse candidates in key swing states like Texas and North Carolina, reflective of the constituents they are running to represent.
- The DLCC flipped a New Hampshire House seat that Trump had won by nearly 10 points in March. The Republican-backed candidate in that race tweeted that white people should secede from the United States and believes climate change is a hoax. This pick up came after Republicans lost Trump districts in Kentucky and Maine.
- Republicans then openly celebrated voter suppression after plowing ahead with a Pennsylvania election despite concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic would suppress the vote. It did. But that’s becoming a strategy for Republicans as they put up roadblocks to voting across the country.
- Republicans are spending nearly $1 million on an ad attacking a candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court that was rated as “pants on fire” by Politifact.
- While Democrats are leading on coronavirus relief, Republicans continue to be too slow to take action, putting their residents at risk and worsening the spread of the virus. Republican-held states like North Carolina and Texas both refused to expand Medicaid over petty partisan politics, leaving their constituents without care in a pandemic.
“Democrats are stronger than ever as we rally behind leaders who are actually taking action to help people,” added Post. “There’s no question that in a critical election cycle, Democrats are showing strength while Republicans are just showing their incompetence. Their complete and utter failure to lead shows exactly how important it is that we elect Democrats everywhere in 2020.”