Chapter 5: Parker Poling

While it’s true that Chris Stirewalt came to perform an autopsy on the GOP’s 2020 election strategy and results, it’s worth pointing out that “the GOP” as a rule didn’t do all that badly in 2020 – the real problem was Donald Trump. Given this state of affairs, Chris decided to reverse course momentarily by speaking to Parker Poling, the 2019-2020 executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee and one of the primary architects of the GOP strategy for congressional elections in 2020. Parker helps to give us a better sense of why Republicans entering the party without Trumpian baggage were able to outperform the president in their own state and local elections and what it was like to make such strides in diversifying the GOP cohort to include more women and racial minorities at a time of revanchist populism. Parker even gives us her advice for freshman members of Congress (Hint: Most of them don’t follow it, even though they should).

Show Notes:

Parker’s time in the GOP

Patrick McHenry’s unexpected congressional career

Congressional Republicans outperformed Trump

Florida’s 27th Congressional District had an unpredictable election

Iowa’s 2nd District, and the election with a six-vote margin

A hint of what the NRCC could’ve run on before January 6

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