Given the size of the wave at the end, the historical losses the President’s party endures in midterm elections, and Trump’s dismal ratings throughout the cycle, some may assert this massive victory was inevitable. We disagree. Winning 18 seats carried by Trump in 2016 was not inevitable, but the result of having the right strategy and the right message and a strong Committee helping Democratic candidates win tight elections.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee played a larger, more effective role in the 2018 cycle than in almost any previous cycle in our Party’s history. GQR, along with Gerstein Bocian Agne Strategies, served as the research arm of the Committee’s central strategic and messaging hub for their incredible effort.
Some of the more complicated questions GQR and GBA helped answer for the DCCC include:
- How do Democrats deal with Trump in districts Trump won in 2016 or enjoyed net positive appeal?
- How do we develop a very disciplined and focused contrast with Republicans?
- What is the Democratic economic offering and contrast at a time of expanding economy?
- What is the most compelling way to take apart the Republican health care plan? In the end, more than 60 percent of Democratic messaging this cycle addressed health care, mostly focusing on cost and pre-existing conditions.
- How do we attack Trump and the Republican majorities signature achievement—the tax bill? Outside of health care, the tax bill emerged as the GOP’s biggest vulnerability this cycle.
- How do we increase participation among key base groups— African American, Hispanic, and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters—after a presidential cycle when low participation among these groups helped tip the balance in the race for the White House?
- How do we counter the Republicans’ late-cycle offensive on immigration?
We congratulate a much-revived Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a historic year and are honored to have helped them take back the House of Representatives.