RNC chief on tape to donors: We need help winning the Senate

“We absolutely have better candidates and a better message,” McDaniel said, pushing back against what she described as a false media narrative that the GOP’s prospects in Senate races are dwindling. “But,” she said, “we need the financial firepower to lead our efforts.”

“Newt and I were just talking, in this environment our candidates can win if they’re outspent two to one, but if they’re four, five, six to one, it becomes more difficult, and we see that specifically on the side of the Senate. So my call to action today,” McDaniel added, “is to help us invest specifically in these Senate races. Give one of these Senate candidates, all of these candidates for the Senate if you can, so they can all be on TV.

Republican officials say the RNC holds such calls every few months to provide updates to major donors. The call comes as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other leading Republicans rally to close the fiscal gap. McConnell spent August working on phones to raise money from major donors, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

Some senior Republicans have turned privately bearish on the party’s hopes of winning a majority, especially in light of its mounting fundraising problems. A range of candidates in key races — from Arizona’s Blake Masters to Ohio’s JD Vance to Pennsylvania’s Mehmet Oz — have found themselves ill-mannered by their Democratic opponents. (At one point in the call, an Arizona donor noted that Masters’ rival, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, was flooding the airwaves and appealed to fellow attendees to help Masters.)

The recent decision of the Republican National Senate Committee to cut more than 10 million dollars in planned television advertising expenditures. The Senate GOP campaign arm trails its Democratic counterpart in cash by about $31 million, according to the most recent documents.

The move forced the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC closely aligned with McConnell, to fill the void with major investments in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. During the call, McDaniel said the RNC is creating a joint fundraising account with 10 state parties to help fund voter turnout programs.

Fundraising struggles have fueled broader concerns about the strength of the party’s candidates. Last week, McConnell appeared to lower expectations of a Senate takeover, saying “there’s probably a better chance of the House rocking than the Senate.”

“Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, the quality of the candidates has a lot to do with the outcome,” McConnell said, adding that after the election “we’ll probably have an extremely close, either on our slightly upside or their slightly upside.

On Wednesday’s call, a donor asked Gingrich to respond to McConnell’s remark, prompting the former House speaker to say he “suspects” the GOP leader “regrets saying that. ” and that it was not “useful”.

But Gingrich also showered McConnell with praise, saying the GOP Senate leader is working aggressively to help Republican candidates compete financially. Gingrich also noted that McConnell had been “burnt” in recent election years when the party fielded candidates “who were, to say the least, odd.”

“Mitch has always been more cautious, and I’ve always been very optimistic, so maybe you can draw the line down the middle,” said Gingrich, who said he also believes party candidates are strong.

During a question-and-answer session, Republican mega-donor Steve Wynn asked if there were any nonprofit organizations contributors could donate to. Unlike political action committees, these groups are not required to disclose their donors.

Some donors, Wynn said, “are embarrassed for personal reasons, businessmen and people like that” and prefer to give anonymously.

The billionaire also offered messaging advice. Republican candidates, he said, should air aggressive television ads portraying Democrats as advocates of tax policies that would hurt low wages and small businesses.

“The kind of punchy spots with a male voice, no soft pedal,” Wynn suggested, before giving an example script: “They come after you if you’re a waiter, if you’re a bartender, if you’re someone who has a cash business…they come after you.

Leave a Comment