Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night

Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night

The poor showing by House Democrats on election night extended to first-term lawmakers endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, potentially leaving the business group with fewer allies in Congress next year.

Of the 23 first-term Democrats backed by the Chamber in a controversial move earlier this election cycle, only 12 have won reelection. Four lost their races, and other contests remain too close to call.

The election performance may increase tensions between the GOP and the lobbying group, which drew criticism from Republicans for its support of Democratic candidates instead of challengers in competitive districts.


Chamber endorsements were not enough to secure second terms for Democratic Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamJoe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Lobbying world MORE (S.C.), Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerGOP hammers Democrats over Iowa Democrat's election challenge Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Iowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters MORE (Iowa), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornWhy does Rep. Johnson oppose NASA's commercial human landing system? The US's investment in AI is lagging, we have a chance to double it What should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? MORE (Okla.) and Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) — four seats that Democrats flipped in 2018.

Republicans scored early victories in House elections, winning back at least a half-dozen seats held by Democrats without losing any of their own.

“We approach endorsements based on not partisanship or polling in someone’s district but how members voted on business priority issues,” Neil Bradley, Chamber executive vice president and chief policy officer, told The Hill on Wednesday.

“When we look at both the Republican side and the Democratic side of our endorsement, we’re very pleased that a majority of folks on both sides of the aisle who we supported will be returning,” he added.

First-term House Republicans earned just a few more endorsements than Democrats, at 29.

Twenty-eight of the 29 won reelection, with Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewWe can't let sand mining threaten storm-buffering, natural infrastructure Sunday shows preview: Biden administration grapples with border surge; US mourns Atlanta shooting victims Pro-union bill passes House, setting up lobbying battle in Senate MORE (N.J.) leading in a race that is too close to call. The endorsed Republicans included Reps. Greg PenceGregory PenceImpeachment video shows Pence had 'nuclear football' as he moved away from Capitol riot New security video shows harrowing details of Capitol attack OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters MORE (Ind.), Anthony Gonzales (Ohio), Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawCrenshaw makes first appearance at hearing since eye surgery Crenshaw 'hopeful' but not 'out of the woods' after eye surgery GOP Rep. Crenshaw to take leave due to eye surgery MORE (Texas), Lance GoodenLance GoodenLoyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall GOP frustration with Liz Cheney 'at a boiling point' Blackburn introduces bill to require migrant DNA testing at border MORE (Texas) and Carol MillerCarol Devine MillerSix ways to visualize a divided America House GOP campaign arm rolls out new leadership team READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (W.Va.).

The Chamber’s decision to extend endorsements to almost two dozen Democrats, first reported by The Hill, was met with swift criticism by Republicans. President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE reportedly asked CEO Tom Donohue if they were a “done deal,” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster McCarthy says he supports Stefanik for House GOP conference chair MORE (R-Calif.) said he didn’t want the Chamber’s endorsement “because they have sold out.”


House Democrats, meanwhile, embraced the support from a group traditionally more aligned with the GOP.

Chamber-endorsed Democrats who won on Tuesday include Reps. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsIs nonpartisan effectiveness still possible? Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure When infrastructure fails MORE (Kan.), Andy Kim (N.J.), Cindy AxneCindy AxneOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Business groups target moderate Democrats on Biden tax plans MORE (Iowa), Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsMinnesota takes joy in beating New York for last House seat Bold leadership is necessary to curb violence against youth Democrat Rita Hart withdraws challenge in Iowa House race MORE (Minn.) and Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions Energy Department announces million toward carbon capture, industrial assessment centers MORE (Ariz.).

Many of the endorsements stemmed from lawmaker support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a measure the Chamber spent heavily on during the 116th Congress.

For the other side of the Capitol, the Chamber endorsed only Senate GOP incumbents, including Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she won't seek reelection MORE (Ariz.), who lost to Democrat Mark KellyMark KellyEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' Manchin says he doesn't support DC statehood, election reform bills MORE, and Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE, who was ousted by Democrat John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperLobbying world DNC taps veteran campaign hands for communications staff Harris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee MORE.

Bradley predicted on Wednesday that Republicans will keep their majority in the Senate. Several races in the battle for control of the chamber have yet to be called, but Democrats fell short in states like Iowa, Maine and South Carolina, where they were considered competitive going into Election Day.

A Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House would mean more consensus-building is needed to move any legislation through Congress.

“It appears we’re going to remain in divided government, which means that compromise in the middle is going to be essential to get anything done,” Bradley said, highlighting the coronavirus relief proposal put forth by the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

“If you look at where the center of gravity was with respect to something like the Problem Solvers Caucus and their recommendations, that’s going to remain the center of gravity both in the lame-duck and heading into this next Congress,” Bradley said.

The Chamber endorsed GOP challengers as well, including Florida Republicans Maria Elvira Salazar and Carlos Gimenez, who defeated Democratic Reps. Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaCrist launches bid for Florida governor, seeking to recapture his old job Biden under pressure to spell out Cuba policy It's time for a second Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health MORE and Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellColombia's protests are threat, test for US Trump, Florida complicate Biden approach to Cuba The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread MORE, respectively.

“There were also a number of freshman Democrats who the Chamber endorsed against because they didn’t have a pro-business voting record,” Bradley said. “We went out and endorsed challengers to Democrats who didn’t perform well on our scorecard and they won as well.”


Chamber-endorsed Democratic representatives

Colin Allred (Texas) WIN

Cindy Axne (Iowa) WIN

Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.) BEHIND

TJ Cox (Calif.) BEHIND

Angie Craig (Minn.) WIN

Joe Cunningham (S.C.) LOSS, GOP Rep.-elect Nancy Mace

Sharice Davids (Kan. 3) WIN

Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoCuomo job approval drops 6 points amid nursing home controversy: poll Cuomo takes heat from all sides on nursing home scandal We lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money MORE (N.Y.) LEADING

Abby Finkenauer (Iowa) LOSS, GOP Rep.-elect Ashley Hinson


Lizzie Fletcher (Texas) WIN

Josh Harder (Calif.) WIN

Kendra Horn (Okla.) LOSS, GOP Rep.-elect Stephanie Bice

Andy Kim (N.J.) WIN

Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (Nev.), LEADING

Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaMcAuliffe holds wide lead in Virginia gubernatorial primary: poll Lauren Underwood endorses Jennifer Carroll Foy in Virginia governors race Northam backing McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race MORE (Va.) WIN

Ben McAdams (Utah), LEADING


Dean Phillips (Minn.) WIN

Harley RoudaHarley Edwin RoudaRepublicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year MORE (Calif.) TOO CLOSE

Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerFive takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Lawmakers say companies need to play key role in sustainability On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since lockdowns | Retail sales surge in March | Dow, S&P hit new records MORE (Va.) TOO CLOSE

Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensFive takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Lawmakers emphasize need to bolster tech, education in workforce development Lawmakers say manufacturers are in better position to handle future pandemics MORE (Mich.) WIN

Greg Stanton (Ariz.) WIN

Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) LOSS, GOP Rep.-elect Yvette Herrell

David TroneDavid John TroneBold leadership is necessary to curb violence against youth Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Bill to expand support for community addiction treatment passes House MORE (Md.) WIN

as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday