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Republicans sense momentum after impeachment win

House Republicans believe they are gaining momentum after a terrible week for Democrats and a strong one for President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE.

GOP lawmakers are becoming optimistic they have a chance to pick up seats or even win back the majority in November.

Taking back the House would require picking up at least 18 seats and would be a tough climb, but Republicans say the turmoil in the Democratic Party and a strong economy bolstering Trump give them reasons for optimism.

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Spirits were running high during the House Republican Conference meeting Wednesday morning — on the heels of Monday’s disastrous Iowa Democratic caucuses and Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and just ahead of Trump’s impeachment acquittal in the Senate — with some members saying they feel better positioned than they have in recent months.

A senior GOP aide who attended the meeting said Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsBiden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Yoho apologizes for accosting AOC MORE (R-Texas) told colleagues, “Let's do what we've been doing, stay on message and we'll get the majority back.”

Republicans felt even more rejuvenated following Trump’s remarks at the White House on Thursday celebrating his acquittal, when he gave enthusiastic shoutouts to his congressional allies such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress inches closer to virus relief deal McCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on Speakership House GOP uses procedural tool to protest proxy voting MORE (R-Calif.) and vowed to help them win back the House.

“I will say that you're going to be Speaker of the House because of this impeachment hoax. I really believe it,” Trump said to McCarthy. “And I'm going to work hard on it. I'm going to try and get out to those Trump areas that we won by a lot. And you know, in ‘18 we didn’t win.”

“We are going to win a lot of seats,” he added. 

McCarthy later said that between the strength of the economy and impeachment polling poorly in battleground districts, he feels good about the GOP’s odds for November.

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“Look at our favorability rating — it's the best it's been since 2004, 2005. Look at the successes we've had. And then when you contrast that to the Democrats, what do they have?” he said Thursday before taking a swipe at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE (D-Calif.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (D-Calif.).

“You've got the freshman members in Trump districts very upset that Schiff and Pelosi put them in this place,” he added.

Republicans are also looking to capitalize on Pelosi’s tearing up of Trump’s speech after his third State of the Union address on Tuesday, something they hope to hammer home with swing voters.

“There could be no sharper contrast between the president's State of the Union, talking about the great comeback of America because of the things that he's done to get our economy back on track and rebuild our military, contrasted to the complete and utter incompetence upon Democrats to be able to conduct a caucus in Iowa or to conduct themselves with basic decorum on the House floor during the State of the Union,” House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future MORE (R-La.) told The Hill.

“I think it's a sharp contrast, and America is watching. And they realize these are not the people that can be trusted with the reins of government when you've got a president who's been delivering for families and has real results that benefit hardworking Americans,” Scalise added.

And while the election is still about nine months away, GOP lawmakers said they expect campaigns and outside groups will highlight Pelosi’s actions and the fumbles in Iowa between now and then.

“I'm sure there are going to be some campaigns and organizations that probably put enough money behind an ad making sure it doesn't get out of the attention of the voter because it was so different than what we ever expected in the past,” Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisGOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter tests positive for coronavirus Biden's gain is Democratic baseball's loss with Cedric Richmond MORE (R-Ill.) told The Hill.

The GOP’s wins this week may have provided a confidence boost, but Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenMcMorris Rodgers wins race for top GOP spot on Energy and Commerce Hillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract Lawmakers urge FCC to assist in effort to rip out, replace suspect network equipment MORE (R-Ore.), who served as chairman of the House Republicans’ campaign arm during the 113th and 114th Congresses, said it’s still too early to tell what issues will resonate with voters in the fall.

“I used to tell people when I ran the [campaign arm], I can tell you in August or September what the issues in the election will be, not in February. But I would much rather be in this situation in February than something worse,” Walden told The Hill on Wednesday.

The GOP still faces a number of obstacles in its effort to regain the majority in the House, including unfavorable redistricting in North Carolina, a high number of retirements and Democrats holding a significant fundraising advantage after bringing in $40 million more than Republicans last year.

But despite House Democrats’ cash advantage, Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerCalifornia was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success Voters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican A louder voice for women everywhere MORE (R-Minn.), who now holds Walden’s previous post, said he thinks the party will flip back seats regardless of the fundraising gap.

“We don't need to be equal on money. We need to be competitive. I think it's going to be extremely competitive,” he told The Hill in an interview.

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”And these guys, again, they haven't accomplished anything they came here to do — all they have been obsessed with is trying to undo the 2016 election. And the only way they can beat Donald Trump at the ballot box is by not having him on the ballot,” he added.

Emmer argued Republicans have other factors that will work in their favor. He said progressives launching primary challenges against Democratic incumbents will be a money suck for lawmakers on the other side of the aisle and help level the playing field for Republicans in terms of campaign spending.

“They're going to have more money, but they're going to burn a lot of this money across the country on these left-wing primaries,” he said.