House Republicans Begin to Pick Up the Pieces

Rep. Richard Hudson talks to reporters after he was elected to serve as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee on November 15. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Nearly a month after a lackluster midterm showing, House Republicans are still wrestling with where they erred, whether they can govern with such a slim majority, and how to better manage voters’ expectations moving forward. They’re hoping a Republican National Committee postmortem will help correct a campaign strategy that failed to flip more seats this year despite record-high inflation and an unpopular Democratic president.

Following next week’s Senate runoff in Georgia the RNC is expected to begin work on a post-midterm review identifying “where the party excelled and where we need to improve, especially in the clear underperformance among independent voters that we saw,” according to a letter RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel wrote to committee members last month. The contents of the note were first reported by Politico.

That midterm postmortem will likely delve into a number of Republican weaknesses—from candidate quality and mail-in voting to minority outreach and the GOP’s abortion messaging in a post-Roe. v. Wade world.

Top of mind for House Republican campaign strategists will be assessing how so many Democrats in swing districts managed to survive a tough national environment. Democratic Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, for example, all held their seats despite appearing vulnerable. Republican leaders will also ask how they failed to win more open seats in this environment. 

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