Earlier this week, in a 52-48 vote on the first article of impeachment and 53-47 on the second, the GOP-controlled United States Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of all charges made by the House of Representatives. Trump and the Republican Party‘s approval ratings have since gone up, and the GOP appears more unified than ever.
Encouraged by these developments and by the strength of Trump’s economy, Republicans believe they can win back the House, according to a new report from The Hill. According to the report, GOP lawmakers are brimming with optimism and see the turmoil in the Democratic Party as the perfect opening to win seats in the House.
The past week was especially turbulent for the Democrats, who — apart from seeing Trump walk away from impeachment unscathed — went through a major scandal in Iowa, where both the local party and the Democratic National Committee fumbled to organized fair and impartial caucuses.
During the House Republican Conference meeting Wednesday morning, GOP lawmakers discussed the possibility of winning back the lower chamber. “Let’s do what we’ve been doing, stay on message and we’ll get the majority back,” Rep. Roger Williams of Texas said, according to an aide.
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pointed to polls, suggesting that he feels good about the GOP’s prospects while taking a shot at House Democrats.
“Look at our favorability rating — it’s the best it’s been since 2004, 2005. Look at the successes we’ve had. And then when you contrast that to the Democrats, what do they have?” he asked.
Trump is also optimistic about his party’s prospects. During the Republican conference, he told McCarthy that impeachment will make him the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. “I will say that you’re going to be Speaker of the House because of this impeachment hoax,” the president said, adding that the GOP will “win a lot of seats.”
According to individuals briefed on the matter, Republicans feel confident and plan on attacking Democrats over impeachment and the Iowa fiasco. GOP-aligned groups and organizations are expected to air advertisements targeting vulnerable Democratic incumbents, casting the Democratic Party as incompetent and uninterested in governing.
According to Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, who served as chairman of the House Republicans’ campaign arm twice, it is still too early to tell what issues the elections will focus on.
“I used to tell people when I ran the [campaign arm], I can tell you in August or September what the issues in the election will be, not in February,” he told The Hill.