House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) expanded its offensive target list Wednesday morning following Democrat Terry McAuliffe's loss in Virginia's gubernatorial contest and a much closer-than-expected race in New Jersey that was too close to call.

The newest additions to the House Republicans' target list are Reps. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Rising prices undercut Biden agenda Virginia emerging as ground zero in battle for House majority Republicans look to education as winning issue after Virginia successes MORE (D-Va.), Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonPoll shows Sinema's popularity dropping further among Arizona Democrats House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Sinema trails potential primary challengers in progressive poll MORE (D-Ariz.), Ed PerlmutterEdwin (Ed) George PerlmutterGroup aligned with House GOP leadership targeting nine Democrats on spending vote House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — China's president to video in for climate confab MORE (D-Colo.), Joe CourtneyJoseph (Joe) D. CourtneyLawmakers introduce bill to examine opioid use in veterans House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Conn.), Darren SotoDarren Michael SotoHouse GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Pennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case MORE (D-Fla.), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), Frank Mrvan (D-Ind.), David TroneDavid John TroneBiden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans Maryland Democrats target lone Republican in redistricting scheme Alabama Republican touts provision in infrastructure bill he voted against MORE (D-Md.), G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldOvernight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid Biden, first lady have 'Friendsgiving' meal with military troops McBath to run in neighboring district after GOP redrew lines MORE (D-N.C.), Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterBooker headlining Democratic fundraiser in New Hampshire House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation MORE (D-N.H.), Teresa Leger-Fernandez (D-N.M.), Madeleine DeanMadeleine DeanDemocrats start blitz to sell infrastructure House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Pelosi faces one big final battle MORE (D-Pa.) and Jim CooperJim CooperHouse GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Arkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Cities become pawns in redistricting game MORE (D-Tenn.).

“In a cycle like this, no Democrat is safe,” said NRCC Chairman Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerSunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist GOP blaming Democrats for 'chaos' in new ad The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Did Democrats misread voters' 2020 call for change? MORE (R-Minn.). “Voters are rejecting Democrat policies that have caused massive price increases, opened our borders and spurred a nationwide crime wave.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The expanded target list comes after Republicans sailed to victory up and down the ballot in Virginia.

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), while lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears and attorney general candidate Jason Miyares defeated their respective Democratic opponents. On top of that, Republicans appear to be on track to gain control of the House of Delegates. 

In New Jersey, the race between incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli is neck and neck in that state's governor's race, but the closeness of the contest in the blue state has Democrats on edge. 

The wins in Virginia, which is usually seen as a bellwether for the 2022 midterms, represented a sharp rebuke of President BidenJoe BidenCDC working to tighten testing requirement for international travelers On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan MORE and an embrace of Youngkin's messaging on a number of key issues. Youngkin zeroed in particularly on the issues of parental rights and education-related issues during the campaign as Loudoun County in the northern part of the state became the epicenter of the nationwide debate on the issue.

Youngkin did not win Loudoun County but outperformed former President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE in the district. Wexton, whose district includes parts of Loudoun, was among the Democrats added to the target list.

ADVERTISEMENT

The campaign arm for Democrats in a statement said Republicans should not be so confident that the Virginia defeat is a precursor to Republicans winning back the House. 

“The NRCC is mistaken if they think they can easily emulate a campaign that skipped a messy GOP primary, had no political record to defend, and routinely kept President Trump at arm’s length," said Chris Taylor, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

"We have a year until the midterm elections, and on top of passing historic legislation that includes game-changing investments in our infrastructure and working families, Democrats are working to ensure battleground voters understand the grave danger that House Republicans and their extremism present to not only our families, but our democracy,” Taylor said.