Republicans to target 115 Democratic state House districts

Republicans announced Tuesday they will target 115 state House districts that are currently held by Democrats but that President Trump won in 2016, drawing battle lines ahead of a fierce fight over redistricting next year.

By Tal Axelrod
The Hill
May 26th, 2020

Republicans announced Tuesday they will target 115 state House districts that are currently held by Democrats but that President Trump won in 2016, drawing battle lines ahead of a fierce fight over redistricting next year.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) said it will invest in “robust earned media and digital campaigns” to win the seats, which are located in states where Republicans are fighting to keep their majorities or super majorities or are looking to flip chambers.

“No matter how inconvenient it is for national Democrats’ false narrative, state Republicans are absolutely on offense in this election cycle — and President Trump is powering it. We’re full steam ahead on flipping districts in every corner of the country in November,” said RSLC President Austin Chambers.

“The contrast is unmistakable: radical leftists are working to turn America’s communities into breeding grounds of socialism; while a unified Republican Party with a long record of putting the American people first is focused on making America great again, again. This election comes down to a simple question: which team do you want rebuilding America? Republicans did it once — Americans know we’ll do it again with President Trump leading the way.”

The fight for state Houses is taking increased significance this year with legislatures set to redraw congressional lines next year pending the results of the census.

The RSLC’s top targets lie in states that are part of its Right Lines 2020 program, which was crafted to hone the GOP’s focus on state Houses where majorities or supermajorities are at stake ahead of 2021’s redistricting battle.

For instance, the RSLC is targeting 14 state House districts in Kansas, where Republicans are fighting to keep their supermajority, enabling them to override a veto of any legislation or congressional map by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Six districts are also being targeted in Texas, a top battleground state where the GOP holds only a nine-seat majority in the state House and lost 12 seats in 2018.

The RSLC expressed confidence that it had already recruited good candidates in races across the country and was in a strong position but said its help would boost the GOP’s chances given the high stakes of the redistricting battle.

“Our Party has recruited strong candidates this year who can run smart campaigns with compelling messages, but they need the RSLC’s help to win and thereby protect Americans from a decade of liberal gerrymandering,” said RSLC board member Karl Rove.

The RSLC also said it would continue efforts to elect conservative judges to state courts and Republicans to statewide offices.