It was heavy sighs of relief all around for Republicans Tuesday night after the surprisingly close special election in the Kansas 4th. Was it voter disgust with Gov. Sam Brownback or fatigue with Trump, or maybe this is par for the course in special elections so close to the general?
Whatever the case, the GOP got the message and will be spending whatever they need to in order to avoid more heart-stopping election nights.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with close ties to Paul Ryan, now says it’ll spend “at least $1 million” on advertising and GOTV to help Republican Greg Gianforte in next month’s special election in Montana—even though Gianforte’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and can self-fund all he likes. And that comes on top of $700,000 the group had already thrown in for ads attacking Democrat Rob Quist last month.
And that’s not all: The NRCC says it’s tossing in $273,000 on television and digital ads. And the NRA is chipping in $145,000 on TV, too. Oh, and the GOP is sending Donald Trump, Jr. out to Montana to stump for Gianforte for two days next week.
What do Republicans know? At a minimum they know they are going to come in behind Jon Ossoff in the Georgia 6th special election on Tuesday, even if Ossoff is unable to avoid a runoff and a Republican ultimately wins. That will certainly provide national momentum for Democrats.
They know the Montana at-large special election is on May 25, and with little polling done to gauge the outcome and following what happened in Kansas, they have cause to be nervous.
And they know they can’t have their president with a favourable number around 40% without some sort of damage in races across the country.