By Ryan Velez
Many Democrats and moderates are praying and working towards a “blue sweep” in the 2018 midterm elections with the hope of swinging the House and possibly the Senate towards Democratic control, providing a level of defense towards Republican legislation. Not if the Koch Brothers have anything to say about it, according to The Hill. A network of groups associated with the billionaires plans to spend $400 million on conservative causes and candidates for the upcoming cycle.
Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said Saturday that the investment would be the network’s largest election cycle investment ever — 60 percent greater than the 2016 presidential cycle — as Republicans seek to protect majorities in the House and Senate against stiff political headwinds. Notably, it stayed out of the 2016 presidential election but did spend heavily on Republican causes at lower levels.
How does the money break down? Some will be spent on electing GOP candidates The network also plans to spend heavily promoting tax reform and other achievements of the GOP-controlled government, including Veterans Affairs reforms and Trump’s conservative judicial picks.
“We’re all in,” Phillips said, adding that the political landscape indicates that 2018 is “going to be a challenging year” for Republicans.
This year references several things. The party in power has tended to lose traditionally in midterm elections. Generic ballot polling currently shows Democrats with a double-digit lead, and Trump currently has a historically low approval rating for a first-term president that could be a drag on other Republicans. In addition, several Republican congressmen are choosing to retire, putting seats up for the taking, and the liberal base is taking all these facts to become energized, which could mean greater voter turnout.
Hundreds of top conservative donors affiliated with the Koch network gathered this past weekend at the exclusive Renaissance Indian Wells resort in the California desert to strategize ahead of the 2018 midterms elections.
“We’re looking for candidates, policymakers who can credibly commit to helping people improve their lives,” said Brian Hooks, the co-chairman of the seminar. With 550 conservative activists, this retreat marked its biggest crowd of members ever.
“Charles Koch has challenged us and the other leaders in the network to step things up by an order of magnitude, that means tenfold,” said Hooks. “That’s what we’re going to do.”