Democrats Narrow Gap in Washington District Trump Won by 7 Points Amid Push to Expand House Seats

As Democrats look to push House Republicans further into the minority, the Democratic challenger in a Washington state House race has narrowed her deficit against the Republican incumbent to make it a virtual neck-and-neck contest, according to an internal Democratic poll provided to Newsweek.

Despite President Donald Trump winning Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District in 2016 by more than seven points, Democrat Carolyn Long is trailing Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wa.) by just two points, within the survey’s margin of error. In 2018, Herrera Beutler bested Long by roughly 16,400 votes, or 5.4 percent, and is serving her fifth term.

Long is one of 37 candidates that House Democrats hope will help them expand their majority in the lower chamber.

The poll, conducted by the progressive firm GQR, shows Long at 47 percent and Herrera Beutler at 49 percent. Four percent of voters in the longtime Republican district, which is located in the southwest region of the state, remain undecided.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Abby Olmstead, Long’s campaign manager, said of the race, “the stakes have never been higher.”

Olmstead said the choice between the candidates is clear.

“In 2020, we face the choice between reelecting a career politician who has spent a decade staying silent, who is never available to her constituents and who is continuously working with Trump to dismantle access to healthcare,” Olmstead said. “Or Carolyn—who will be a hard-working, present, accountable, representative that always puts the people of Southwest Washington first.”

Democrat Carolyn Long
A new internal poll by Democrats shows challenger Carolyn Long, a Democrat, trailing the Republican incumbent for Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler by two points.
Courtesy of the Carolyn Long campaign

Newsweek subscription offers >

Long enjoys a net +11 favorability rating, compared to Herrera Beutler’s net +5 rating. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is nearly tied with Trump in the district: 47 percent to 48 percent, with 6 percent undecided. A separate poll conducted last month showed Long was four points down.

The Herrera Beutler campaign questioned the legitimacy of the poll and accused Long of being “desperate.”

“This is the time of year when desperate campaigns try to convince reporters to write about outlying polls from outlying pollsters with outlying results,” spokesperson Parker Truax told Newsweek in a statement. “Jaime is going to win.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) also questioned the poll’s credibility and said Democrats’ spending habits in the district conflict with their suggestion that the race is virtually tied.

“If Carolyn Long were only down two points, the Democrats would be spending here like it’s nobody’s business,” NRCC spokesperson Torunn Sinclair told Newsweek in a statement. “They’re not, they currently have no money reserved, this is a fake poll and Carolyn Long is going to lose again.”

Herrera Beutler’s campaign did not respond to Newsweek‘s request for comment.

Though the internal polling suggests a public shift toward Long, election forecasters aren’t buying it.

Cook Political Report still rates the contest as likely Republican,

Read more

Taking a Cue From Trump, House Republicans Offer Narrow Agenda

“A lot of this document can be summarized by saying, ‘Let’s delete the last seven months in our country,’ because Republicans were certainly, at least from an economic perspective, feeling bullish about their chances this year,” said Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Miami Republican who lost his House seat in the Democratic wave of 2018.

Michael Franc, a conservative policy analyst and former adviser to House Republican leaders, said the shift was part of a longer-term realignment by Republicans toward a more populist, working- and middle-class-focused party. He noted that the most specific proposals included in the agenda, like school choice, a child tax credit and increased funding for the police, appeared to be aimed at that group, while the ideas most popular with conservative intellectuals and elites, like entitlement reform, were downplayed.

“That is institutionalizing where some people have seen the party going, and it’s an acknowledgment that the days of talking about things like supply-side economics with voters are over,” he said.

The fact that Republicans in the House felt a need to produce their own platform at all, in a presidential election year when the top of the ticket typically sets the agenda, underscores the party’s unique predicament under Mr. Trump, a leader who has never been guided by much of a policy vision.

A handful of Republicans privately conceded that they were underwhelmed with the document. And despite the hoopla of Tuesday’s news conference, party leaders did not take any questions from reporters.

The presentation underscored how pessimistic Republicans have grown about their chances of retaking the House this year. It also reflected the changing nature of the party’s leadership on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Ryan was a self-declared policy wonk, who in 2016 insisted on putting out a lengthy set of proposals to balance the nation’s budget and pay for costly programs like Medicare or Social Security with draconian cuts. Mr. McCarthy has always leaned more toward politics than policy. He also watched as Mr. Ryan’s policy proposals were shredded by Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, in which he made deviation from Republican orthodoxy into a powerful selling point.

Source Article

Read more