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Steve Stivers: Surging economy will result in voters picking Republicans in midterm vote

July 29, 2018

The head of the House Republicans’ campaign committee said Sunday that the surging U.S. economy will help the GOP hold onto its majority, as President Trump vowed to campaign nonstop this fall for Republican candidates in tight races.

“Things are moving our way,” said Rep. Steve Stivers, Ohio Republican, on ABC’s “This Week.” “The economy is growing at a faster rate than it’s grown in years and years and we’re keeping people safe at home and abroad.”

The government announced Friday that the economy grew at 4.1 percent in the second quarter, the strongest growth since 2014. Mr. Trump said he plans to capitalize on that performance in an ambitious campaign strategy for the GOP in the final two months of the midterm elections.

“I am going to work very hard,” Mr. Trump told Sean Hannity in a radio interview Friday. “I’ll go six or seven days a week when we’re 60 days out, and I will be campaigning for all of these great people that do have a difficult race, and we think we’re going to bring them over the line.”

The president said he has instructed White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and others on his team to compile a list of about two dozen of the most hotly contested races in the country where he can devote the power of his office to promote the Republicans candidates.

“Give me the top 25 congresspeople that are, you know, could go either way, and I want to go out and campaign for those people,” Mr. Trump said.

The president heads Tuesday to Florida to campaign before the state’s primaries for Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for the Senate; Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is running for re-election; and Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running for governor.

Mr. Trump also has been taking to Twitter regularly to remind voters of his support of certain GOP candidates, as he did Friday with a tweet for Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee, who faces a primary challenge this week.

“David Kustoff has been a champion for the Trump Agenda I greatly appreciate his support,” the president tweeted. “David is strong on crime and borders, loves our Military, Vets and Second Amendment.”

Democrats need to gain 23 seats to claim the majority in the House. Most generic polls show Democrats leading GOP congressional candidates; a Harvard University-Harris poll on a generic Congressional ballot last week showed Democrats ahead by seven percentage points, 43 percent to 36 percent.

Rep. Ben Lujan of New Mexico, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Sunday he’s “confident” his party will triumph, in part due to the GOP’s attack on Obamacare.

“Under Republican control of the House, of the Senate and of the White House, Republicans have forced healthcare premiums to increase on the American people,” Mr. Lujan said on “This Week.” “The more that we can drive an agenda that helps to lower the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs for the American people and increase wages, the stronger we will be and the stronger we will do.”

Vice President Mike Pence said he and the president intend to make sure that the GOP increases its majorities in the House and Senate, to overcome what he called unprecedented Democratic obstructionism in Congress.

“In this administration, we have literally faced four times more filibusters in our first two years than any of the last administrations going all the way back to Jimmy Carter,” Mr. Pence said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We need to have more Republicans in the House and Senate. We’ll only be able to continue to build on the momentum in this economy with more partners. And so we’re going to fight to re-elect and expand these Republican majorities.”

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