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Voters Reject Paul Ryan’s Failed House Leadership

As we see it, this election would not have even been close if Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership had embraced and passed Donald Trump’s conservative agenda.

The Democratic Blue Wave against President Trump that was long-predicted by the establishment media turned out to be more like a splash as Republicans expanded their (likely) margin in the Senate 54 to 46 seats Paul Ryanwhile losing the House majority by what looks like (approximately) 225 to 210 seats.

Democrats picked up 27+ seats, but those pickups were not necessarily based on anti-Trumpism, and the numbers are far less than the losses suffered by Bill Clinton in the 1994 midterms, when Democrats suffered a 54-seat swing and the incumbent Democratic Speaker Tom Foley was defeated for reelection or the 2010 midterms when Barack Obama suffered a 63-seat loss, the highest loss of a party in a House midterm election since 1938.

The establishment media want to tell you that Republicans lost because they have a “suburban women” problem attributable to distaste for President Trump – don’t believe it – Republican loses were not concentrated in the suburbs and seat-by-seat the results can be attributed to several non-Trump factors that the establishment media won’t talk about, but can and should be laid at the feet of Paul Ryan and his leadership team.

One factor in the Republican loss of the majority that the media won’t talk about is that activist judges in Pennsylvania and Colorado mandated the redrawing of the congressional districts handing Democrats a net gain of at least four seats.

Another factor was ethics problems. While Republicans failed to capitalize on the ethics problems of Democrats, Republicans lost seats where ethics were an issue. Iowa conservative Rod Blum being perhaps the most high-profile incumbent who was brought down by an opponent whose campaign was buoyed by attacking his financial dealings.

Another factor that the establishment media has swept under the table is the influence of Far-Left billionaires, especially George Soros and Tom Steyer.

House Republicans, especially conservatives, were routinely outspent by 2 to 1. For example, limited government constitutional conservative Dave Brat, a known target of the Left, was outspent by about 2 to 1, Mike Coffman in Colorado was outspent 5 to 3. In Oklahoma, Democrat Kendra Horn raised more than four times as much money as incumbent Republican Steve Russell did. Over a recent three-month span Horn raised $442,711 between July 1 and Sept. 30, Russell raised just $97,836 in the same period.

As we pointed out above, conservatives were routinely outspent and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Steve Stivers of Ohio did nothing to protect vulnerable incumbents who were not part of the Republican establishment.

While the House Freedom Caucus did its part - all 11 House Freedom Fund targets for open seats won - the NRCC did an abysmal job of candidate recruitment, especially if they accepted the idea that Republicans had a problem with suburban women. While Democrats recruited dozens of female candidates to run, especially in Republican Blue State seats, the NRCC all but conceded those races before they even began by fielding rookie candidates who were swamped by well-funded Democrats.

But the final, and most important factor was the failed leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Deputy House Majority Whip Patrick McHenry and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers.

Ryan was for all intents and purposes missing in action as the leader of the Republican Conference, and when he did surface it was to criticize President Trump.

All politics is local is how Democrats win elections. Republicans never win major elections unless they nationalize them around big conservative themes. To the extent that we saw Republicans lose yesterday, it was largely because they followed the advice of the Washington’s establishment consultants and ran localized campaigns.

However, Ryan and his establishment consultants did everything possible to convince Republicans to run on local issues, because other than tax cuts, Ryan gave House Republicans nothing to run on.

Contrary to the advice to run on tax cuts and the economy, building the wall, enforcing our immigration laws, putting troops at the border, standing for the right to life, cutting regulations, putting Americans back to work and keeping their promises were themes that won close elections for Republicans.

The lesson of the 2018 midterm election for House Republicans should be clear – seat-by-seat you can look at the results and see how leadership failures cost Republican seats in the House. It is time for new conservative leadership in the House, especially now that the Party is in the minority.

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