The National Republican Congressional Committee is putting together new campaign ads and has announced what is being called an “exit list” of Democrat-held House seats that the GOP believes are vulnerable and can be flipped in the 2022 midterm elections.

The “exit list” comprises Democrats who are “likely to retire or run for a different office in 2022.”

They’re also targeting three sitting Congressmen in tough races.

NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer said in a statement on Thursday:

“House Democrats are running for the exits because they know they’re in for a bruising election cycle which will cost them their jobs and their House majority. They’d rather move on than have to spend another election defending their socialist agenda that will strip Americans of their private health insurance, defund the police, open our borders and raise taxes.”

You can read the full list of targeted seats here.

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Trump Already Meeting With Candidates

Of course, President Trump is also playing a role in 2022 midterms.

According to Politico, several candidates who want the former president’s endorsement have reached out to him, requesting his backing and support.

An example of the pushing and shoving to get Trump’s endorsement comes in the form of candidates vying for the Ohio Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman (R-OH), who has said he will not seek re-election.

At a fundraiser at Trump’s golf club, four current or possible Ohio candidates were summoned to a back room with Trump for a meeting.

Politico’s sources say that what ensued was by all accounts a tension-filled meeting, for the most part by the two front runners, former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and former state GOP Chair Jane Timken. Technology company executive Bernie Moreno and Investment Banker Mike Gibbons both have not formally announced their candidacies yet but are expected to soon.

As Politico put it, it was reminiscent of Trump holding forth on “The Apprentice,” with the candidates trying to one-up each other on why they should receive Trump’s coveted endorsement.

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After the chaos and questions that arose out of the 2020 election cycle, Republicans are wasting no time in putting their strategy together for 2022.

The GOP does not intend on being caught off guard again, and Donald Trump will be a major player in the shaping and future of the Republican Party.

According to an announcement put out in February by the NRCC, they have identified 47 “offensive opportunities” that include 29 Battleground Democrats where Joe Biden lost the district, or the 2020 presidential or congressional margin was within 5%. 

It’s unclear if the new “exit list” whittled down those opportunities or if the NRCC still plans a 47-seat offensive.

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The Changing Face Of The Republican Party

The influence of President Trump and the party seeing what they think are 47 opportunities for flipping congressional seats is a pretty good sign of major changes within the Republican Party. 

That change is immediately visible in the different visions of people like Rep. Liz Chaney (R-WY) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Gaetz, a strong supporter of Trump, has called Cheney an “America last” politician who favors Bush-era foreign policy and getting involved in needless conflicts abroad.

Cheney has been lumped together with Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), who were harsh critics of Trump and seen as “establishment” Republicans by many Trump supporters who feel that politicians like them are too eager to go along with Democrats, and don’t care about average Americans who elected them.

If the Republican Party is aggressive about their “exit” list, and Donald Trump continues to have influence on candidates, many of the seats on the list could be not just flipped, but flipped to more populist, America First Republicans as opposed to establishment-type Republicans.

 

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