RNC responds to Election Day defeats: "Game on"

RNC responds to Election Day defeats: "Game on"
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The Republican National Committee (RNC) downplayed Tuesday night's Democratic election victories in a new memo, arguing that Democrats are wrong to think their victories in blue-leaning states presage sweeping 2018 midterm victories.

The new memo from RNC political director Juston Johnson, entitled "Game On," compares the gubernatorial and other statewide Democratic victories in Virginia — a state Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Gloria Steinem: Selection of Kamala Harris recognizes that 'black women ... are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party' MORE carried by 5 points during the 2016 presidential race — to the five GOP special House election victories, which came in GOP-held districts where Republicans were favored. 
 
"With Democrats holding all statewide offices in a state Hillary Clinton won by more than 5 points, it was no secret that Republicans faced an uphill climb," Johnson writes in the memo obtained by The Hill. 
 
"Despite an amazing staff and exceptional candidates, the fact of the matter is Virginia hasn't elected a Republican statewide in nearly a decade — and that trend held last night." 
 
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The Democratic victories, he adds, don't change the fundamental challenges facing the Democrats in 2018 Senate races, where 10 incumbent Democrats are running in states where President Trump won in 2016. And the GOP still has an overwhelming advantage in state legislatures and governor seats, even after losing the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races and a number of seats in the Virginia House of Delegates. 
 
"The president won last year because states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin have been trending Red, in large part because of the uninterrupted, nationwide field operation the RNC has employed since 2014," he says. 
 
The memo goes on to tout the RNC's field work and significant fundraising advantage over Democrats to argue that the RNC is the only "party with the resources and infrastructure to handle [the] mammoth undertaking" of the 2018 midterm elections. 
 
"To the Democrats and talking heads who say we’re in for a challenging midterm: Game on," Johnson says to close the memo.  
 
The response comes after a day of Democrats framing the electoral successes on Tuesday as a bellwether for the upcoming midterms and a referendum on President Trump. Democrats have pointed to success not just in top-line races in New Jersey and Virginia, but also smaller-scale local victories in more competitive spots like the Virginia delegate elections and the Manchester, New Hampshire, mayoral election. 
 
In a memo of their own, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Wednesday argues the flip-side of the coin, that Tuesday's elections are a harbinger for Democratic success in 2018, particularly at the Senate level. 
 
"The midterms are not shaping up the way the GOP hoped. From Republican recruitment failures and divisive primaries to an agenda that received a swift and stunning rebuke last night, the GOP has not set itself up for victory in 2018. These dynamics, coupled with the unique strengths of our incumbents and candidates, have positioned Democrats to run strong, successful campaigns next year," the DSCC writes.