September 24, 2018
To: Reporters and Opinion Writers
From: David James
Republican State Leadership Committee
RE: AP: Control of Congress also at stake in state legislative races & other reports of what’s at stake this fall at the state legislative level.
Recent reports by the Associated Press, Karl Rove, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich have laid out the case for what’s at stake in this fall’s down-ballot races. While Democrats have made headlines on their regaining of 4% of their record-setting decade-long losses at the state level, the allied forces of the Left, including Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Forward Majority, have pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to take on the legacy of the RSLC’s 2010 REDMAP program as it transitions into the 2020 REDMAP Program.
As reported by the Associated Press this weekend:
“Democrats looking to regain a foothold in state capitols largely led by Republicans had anticipated flipping control of up to a dozen legislative chambers during the last presidential election. It didn’t work out that way…
”The GOP now controls two-thirds of the 99 legislative chambers across the country. It has full control of both chambers and the governor’s office in three times as many states as Democrats.
Since Trump’s election, Democrats have regained a net of 36 state legislative seats through general elections in Virginia and New Jersey and special elections elsewhere. That’s a reversal of less than 4 percent of the Republicans’ gains, a modest amount that nonetheless has been touted by Democrats eager to highlight momentum…
…“The fact that Republicans have had so much success doesn’t have to do with our lines, it has to do with running better candidates who go out and govern in a way that’s having a positive impact in their states,” said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee.
Karl Rove noted recently in the Wall Street Journal:
”The second fight—also crucial but less discussed—is over which party has the better chance of holding the House for the decade after states redraw congressional-district lines in 2021. This fight involves 6,066 contests for state legislative seats this fall and another 6,318 races next year and in 2020. Because most state senators serve four-year terms, many of those elected this November will cast votes on redistricting plans after the next census. Both parties want to hold the pen when the time comes to draw new congressional district lines.
“Republicans held that power in many states in 2011, having picked up 721 state legislative seats and 23 chambers in the two years following President Obama’s 2008 victory. They were rewarded handsomely for it in the subsequent redistricting.
“Today Republicans hold 67 of 99 chambers (Nebraska has a unicameral legislature) and hold unified legislative control in 32 states. In four states—Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New York—control is split, with each party holding one chamber. Democrats have legislative majorities in both houses in only 14 states.
“Much of the GOP’s sweeping success at the state level over the past decade has been due to the efforts of the Republican State Leadership Committee. The group aims to raise $50 million this cycle to support state legislative campaign committees and fund key local contests.”
And while the threat to the Republican majorities is at an all-time high from an amassed alliance of twenty-five plus groups advocating for the Democrats, former Speaker Newt Gingrich recently noted:
“…the continuing investment by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) in state legislators is giving the Republican Party a farm team that is providing strong candidates for many key races.
“In the process, Matt Walter and his team at the RSLC have devastated the Democrats’ farm teams. Democrats lost more than 900 state legislative seats when President Obama was in office.”