Several campaign committees dedicated to electing Democrats have indicated that they will highlight the GOP’s consistent downplaying of the January 6 Capitol attack as part of their midterm election strategy — putting particular emphasis on language that was used by GOP leaders in the censure of Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming).
The Republican National Committee (RNC), is referred to in that document. Rebuked Kinzinger & Cheney for working with House select committee investigating the Capitol attack, describing the events of January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump loyalists violently interrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election, as “legitimate political discourse.”
Republicans have been trying to distance themselves since the censure resolution passed and was voted upon by members of RNC. For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Kentucky) blasted the censure motion’s language, noting that the attack on the Capitol was “a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R.Maine) also criticized the document, stating that it would be detrimental to Republicans in the upcoming election this fall. “Every moment that is spent re-litigating a lost election or defending those who have been convicted of criminal behavior moves us further away from the goal of victory this fall,” Collins said.
Several Democratic Party Campaign Committees and Political Action Committees are available. recently told Axios that they won’t let voters forget about the RNC’s characterization of the Capitol breach as “legitimate political discourse.”
“We will ensure that they are held accountable for a position completely at odds with the American people,” House Majority PAC executive director Abby Curran said.
“[We will] continue to remind voters throughout the year that the official position of the Republican Party is that attacking the Capitol … and trying to overturn an election are ‘legitimate political discourse,’” an aide to the Democratic National Committee said.
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D. New York), chair of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, suggested the topic would be at the forefront in the midterm elections.
“The Republican Party is having a hard time deciding whether a violent attack on the Capitol is good or bad. We think they should have to answer for that,” Maloney said.
Nevertheless, Democratic candidates from swing districts have indicated they will make the language for the censure resolution a central topic in the upcoming midterms.
“I will challenge an opponent to discuss it. Do they think that was ‘legitimate political discourse’?” Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pennsylvania) said to Axios.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll published in early JanuaryAccording to a survey, 72 percent of Americans believe the attack on Capitol Building last year was a threat for American democracy.
But while some Republicans try to distance themselves from the issue, making statements that reject the language of the RNC censure, this may ultimately be to their detriment: a majority of the poll’s Republican respondents (52 percent) opposed the view of American voters overall, saying that the individuals involved in the attack were “protecting democracy.” This means that in trying to appeal to mainstream voters, GOP candidates may alienate their own base of supporters, lessening their chances of electoral wins.
Typically, the party elected as president is the party that was elected. fares poorly in the first midterm races after the president assumes office — and with Democrats controlling both houses of Congress by only a slim margin, Republicans are hoping that historical trends from the past half-century will remain true in this year’s midterms.
Highlighting the GOP’s role in the events of January 6 will likely work to Democrats’ advantage — as will emphasizing Republican candidates’ ties to former President Donald Trump, whose favorability ratings in most polls are a net-negative in the double digits.
As of right now most pundits are saying that Republicans will likely win the midterm races. However, the polling results are less certain. According to an Economist/YouGov poll published earlier this weekThe Democrats hold a slight advantage over Republicans with 43 percent of voters saying that they plan to vote to elect a Democratic candidate, and 39 percent saying they want a Republican to win their home district.