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 StefanikLatest funding bill to reopen the government fails in House GOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House On The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown MORE (R-N.Y.) called on incoming House GOP campaigns chief Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerGOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House Steve King faces new storm over remarks about white supremacy Jeb Bush: GOP leaders need to 'actively support' primary challenger for Steve King 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