Democratic strategist says GOP needs ‘exorcism’ after House midterm losses

Democratic strategist Jennifer Holdsworth said Tuesday that Republicans need an “exorcism" after their losses in the House in the midterm elections, arguing that the GOP’s political tactic is dated, particularly when it comes to appealing to women voters. 

“I don’t think the Republicans need an autopsy as much as they need an exorcism — their ideas have been dead for a long time,” Holdsworth told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton during a panel discussion on “Rising.”

The chief revenue officer at DSPolitical added that Republicans are learning the same lesson that Democrats had to learn in the 2016 presidential election, saying women care about a wide range of issues and are “not a monolith.”

“They’re not just voting on issues like Planned Parenthood … Yes, it’s very, very important to women voters but you know what else is important to women voters: the economy, jobs, schools, many many other issues that they’re voting on,” Holdsworth said.

Holdsworth's comments were in response to GOP calls for the party to perform an autopsy to find out what went wrong for Republican candidates in the midterm elections.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 13 House Republicans who bucked Trump on emergency declaration House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-N.Y.) called on incoming House GOP campaigns chief Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerSchultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Elise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 GOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House MORE (R-Minn.) and the rest of the leadership to conduct an “honest, transparent assessment” into the “disappointing results” of the November election.

Stefanik and others wrote that the party fell short across multiple demographics, including women. He warned that ignoring the root causes behind these “historic losses” could run the risk of the party making the same mistakes.

But conservative reporter Will Ricciardella called the autopsy unnecessary, saying Republican fears surrounding the midterm losses are overblown. 

“I don’t know if necessarily there’s a need for an autopsy…this is not outside the historical norm,” he told Hill.TV.

As predicted, Democrats won back the House in November's elections. They also managed to flip some Republican-leaning districts in suburban areas. 

— Tess Bonn