BLUE WAVE? Expanding map creates tough choices for GOP.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) must decide how much focus should be placed on competitive and Democratic-leaning districts that Hillary Clinton carried — or if the party should put more energy into protecting solid GOP seats that could be in danger if a wave materializes this fall.
“Not every seat is created equal. … Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best path to holding the majority,” said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP strategist based in Texas. “You’re dealing with a chess board that has 30 or 40 pieces on it, and you’re trying to figure out how to get from here to there.”
“It’s a judgment call both sides have to make,” he added. “And it’s challenging.”
Republicans are bracing for tough midterm elections, with anxiety running high over whether anti-Trump sentiment could hurt the GOP at the polls.
The GOP election strategy has been further scrambled by Democrat Conor Lamb’s upset victory in a Pennsylvania special election last month, which suggested the GOP could even be vulnerable in areas of the country where Trump was strong in 2016.
Historically, the president’s party loses about 32 seats on average during the midterms. Democrats will win back the majority if they flip a net 23 seats.
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