SPONSORED:

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chamber endorsements were not enough to secure second terms for Democratic Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamWe lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Coalition of 7 conservative House Republicans says they won't challenge election results MORE (S.C.), Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerChamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Iowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year MORE (Iowa), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornThe US's investment in AI is lagging, we have a chance to double it What should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year 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 DrewSunday shows preview: Riots roil Washington as calls for Trump's removal grow NJ Republican pushes for Ways and Means seat a year after switching parties Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results MORE (N.J.) leading in a race that is too close to call. The endorsed Republicans included Reps. Greg PenceGregory PenceOVERNIGHT 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 READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night MORE (Ind.), Anthony Gonzales (Ohio), Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawCapitol Police tribute turns political Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE (Texas), Lance GoodenLance GoodenREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results 27 GOP reps ask for special counsel to investigate election irregularities MORE (Texas) and Carol MillerCarol Devine MillerREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Partial disengagement based on democratic characteristics: A new era of US-China economic relations 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 TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE reportedly asked CEO Tom Donohue if they were a “done deal,” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFormer lawmakers call on leadership to focus on unity Cheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' Biden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop MORE (R-Calif.) said he didn’t want the Chamber’s endorsement “because they have sold out.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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 DavidsBiden: Federal government 'has long-broken promises to Native American tribes' Overnight Energy: Biden makes historic pick with Haaland for Interior | Biden set to tap North Carolina official to lead EPA | Gina McCarthy forges new path as White House climate lead Biden makes historic pick with Haaland for Interior secretary MORE (Kan.), Andy Kim (N.J.), Cindy AxneCindy AxneWill Pelosi bail out the GOP on election controversy Iowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus MORE (Iowa), Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsMarjorie Taylor Greene expressed support on Facebook for violence against Democrats Democrats poised to impeach Trump again Capitol Police say reports of officer's death are wrong MORE (Minn.) and Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonHouse Democrat to introduce bill requiring Capitol Police to use body cameras House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night 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 McSallyState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Cindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake MORE (Ariz.), who lost to Democrat Mark KellyMark KellyState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Moderates vow to 'be a force' under Biden Arizona Gov. Ducey says he won't run against Mark Kelly for Senate MORE, and Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs denounce Capitol attack | Contractors halt donations after siege | 'QAnon Shaman' at Capitol is Navy vet Lobbying world Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE, who was ousted by Democrat John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperColorado delegation wants Biden to stop Space Command move to Alabama Moderates vow to 'be a force' under Biden Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief 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 ShalalaBiden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Trump, Florida complicate Biden approach to Cuba Florida Rep.-elect Elvira Salazar tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellTrump, Florida complicate Biden approach to Cuba The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread The Memo: Democrats see warning signs beyond 2020 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 DelgadoWe lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE (N.Y.) LEADING

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

ADVERTISEMENT

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 LuriaChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Overnight Defense: How members of the Armed Services committees fared in Tuesday's elections | Military ballots among those uncounted in too-close-to-call presidential race | Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19 Luria holds onto Virginia House seat MORE (Va.) WIN

Ben McAdams (Utah), LEADING

ADVERTISEMENT

Dean Phillips (Minn.) WIN

Harley RoudaHarley Edwin RoudaCalifornia was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE (Calif.) TOO CLOSE

Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerHillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution House lawmakers reintroduce bipartisan bill to weed out foreign disinformation on social media 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (Va.) TOO CLOSE

Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensDemocrats condemn 'lawlessness' amid Capitol chaos Democrat Haley Stevens hangs on to Michigan House seat Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night MORE (Mich.) WIN

Greg Stanton (Ariz.) WIN

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

David TroneDavid John TroneChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Bill to expand support for community addiction treatment passes House US Chamber of Commerce set to endorse 23 House freshman Democrats MORE (Md.) WIN

as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday