House Republicans know they have a big problem, but they don’t know who to blame. In order to figure that out, they’ve decided they need an autopsy to determine the cause of death of the Republican Party.
Although it’s obvious to most people, a group of GOP House members has asked the House GOP campaigns chief Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and other members of the leadership team to conduct the autopsy to discover what exactly went wrong for Republicans in the disastrous 2018 midterms.
The group sent a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday saying that the “disappointing results” of the November election “require an honest, transparent assessment of the structural operations and decision-making process that led to our party losing an historic number of seats.”
Well, that’s an understatement. They might also do an assessment of how unpopular their president and their policies are with the American people. And then another one to explore how disgusted American voters are with the climate of corruption that they have created in Washington.
The group of concerned Republicans pointed out that their party lost many seats in suburban areas that historically have voted for Republican candidates. They also expressed concerns that the number of female House Republicans will drop from 23 to just 13 next year.
“We fell short across multiple demographics, including women, who represent a growing segment of America’s voting population,” the letter said. “Minimizing or ignoring the root causes behind these historic losses will lead us to repeat them.”
“We urge your support for the National Republican Congressional Committee to officially assess the reasons behind our party’s historic losses and to develop recommendations for implementation moving forward.”
The letter was signed by ep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), as well as Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), who both lost their reelection bids.
After the November drubbing, Stefanik said Republican House leaders needed to do a better job intervening in primaries to help nominate more female candidates. But Emmer rejected her idea, calling it a “mistake.”
And now, in the letter, the group of unhappy Republicans are blaming Emmer for what happened.
“We specifically ask the incoming Chair and Leadership team to undergo a thorough and transparent strategic assessment of NRCC operations along with House Leadership’s 2018 agenda to formally analyze what went wrong, what lessons were learned — including those learned from the successful efforts of our Democratic counterparts — and what will be done to better support the next generation of Republican congressional candidates,” Stefanik and the others wrote.
“The NRCC strategic assessment should include every aspect of its operations and decision-making process, from data, fundraising, polling and staffing to messaging and voter targeting among key demographics. The NRCC should also look at decisions made by House Leadership during the 2018 cycle including the policy process, legislation and messaging to see what contributed to our losses this cycle and how we can adjust moving forward.”
“Addressing the root causes of our party’s historic congressional losses is our duty, and ours alone. We can and must do better,” the lawmakers continued. “Addressing this crisis right now is the first step toward ensuring Republican candidates better reflect America, and to winning more elections.”
Emmer said he and Stefanik have been in contact in recent days. He said he is open to discussions to find out how to recruit more female candidates in the next cycle.
“He is on board 100 percent with what the letter is asking,” the Emmer source said. “We are on the same team, we want to find out what went wrong, correct it, and win the majority in 2020.”