WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- With control of Congress hanging in the balance this November, Washington Correspondent Alana Austin looks at the Republican strategy to hold onto power.
From swing districts, to the deepest red parts of the political map, it’s a tougher year than usual for Republicans seeking office.
“We’ve been working hard and we’re proud of our records of results," said
House GOP Conference Chair, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA).
Republican leaders say they can beat the odds by trumpeting their accomplishments: a booming economy, tax cuts, fewer regulations and a stronger military.
“We’re proud that we have delivered on the promises that we made to the American people," said Rodgers.
Democrats are running in places where they didn’t even try to compete before, and nationally -- polling shows a left-ward lean. Historically, if a president and his party sweep into power, two years later those on that side of the aisle struggle at the polls.
“I certainly know what the historic trends are, but I also see us just in a really strong position as Republicans," said Rodgers.
The president is throwing his political weight behind GOP candidates, which Georgetown professor Jonathan Ladd says may help, but could hurt in close races. He sees many of those candidates in toss-up areas focusing on local issues.
“They’re going to want to talk about about that and that’s the best thing they have going for them," said Ladd.
The GOP officially rolled out the 'Better Off Now' messaging campaign this summer. When asked why the President and Vice President were not included in the video, Rodgers says House Republicans are running on their legislative success, rather than their relationships with the White House.
“All of these bills that we’re highlighting were signed by the President," said Rodgers.
"This is us highlighting our record of results on behalf of the American people, and that’s where you see much of who’s featured in the video being the Republicans in the House because we led this initiative.”
All 435 House seats are up for grabs this fall, and dozens of Republicans in that chamber are not seeking re-election in those offices. That creates an opening for Democratic candidates. But on the Senate side, far more Democrats face tough re-election campaigns. Many are fighting off competitive challengers in increasingly red states.
“It’s very possible that the House could go back to Democrats but the Senate could not because it’s very different electorates," said Ladd.
Experts say results of the mid-term election on November 6th will dramatically shape the future of Trump’s presidency and the Republican agenda.