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P O LITI C A L U P DAT E

After a net gain of two seats in 2018, we begin the 2020 cycle with a 53-seat majority. We have 20
Republican incumbents up for reelection and two GOP open seats, compared to just 12 Democrat
incumbents facing reelection. However, a closer analysis of the state of play shows that while we
are on defense, we also have opportunities to expand the map and are in a strong position to
defend our majority.

20 of the 22 Republican seats were carried by President Trump in 2016 – 15 of which he carried
by more than 10 points. Two of the 12 Democrat seats were carried by President Trump in 2016 –
Alabama and Michigan. Two of the 12 Democrat seats were carried by two points or less by
Hillary Clinton in 2016 – Minnesota and New Hampshire.

Our incumbents have been working hard to raise money and build strong campaign teams. We have
focused on recruiting the strongest candidates in our open seats and offensive targets, and we are
laying the groundwork now to deny the Democrats their best recruiting opportunities.

DEFENSIVE TARGETS

ARIZONA
After a tough fight in 2018, Senator Martha McSally was appointed to Senator John McCain’s seat
and is gearing up for 2020. Arizona is a true swing state, with Trump winning by 3.5% in 2016 while
Democrat Senator Kristen Sinema won by 2.4% in 2018. McSally has an incredible story as the first
woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat and the first woman to command a fighter
squadron. While she was not successful in her first statewide run, she has laid the groundwork to
be successful in 2020, and should benefit from President Trump’s presence on the ticket.

COLORADO
No one works harder for Colorado than Senator Cory Gardner. After winning a tough race in 2014,
Senator Gardner has earned a reputation as a bipartisan deal-maker and has proven himself to be a
prolific fundraiser. That said, he will face a tough reelection in 2020 in a state President Trump lost
by five points. Several Democrat candidates have announced plans to run against him, including
failed gubernatorial candidate Michael Johnston, and failed perennial candidate Andrew Romanoff,
but Gardner and his team are ready for the fight ahead.
P O LITI C A L U P DAT E

IOWA
Senator Joni Ernst starts the 2020 cycle in a strong position. Trump won the state by 9.4 points in
2016, the strongest margin of any candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1980, and 2018 saw the election
of Iowa’s first female governor – Republican Kim Reynolds – and a Republican sweep of statewide
offices. Ernst is a strong fundraiser with a fantastic story and a new position in Senate leadership,
and Iowa Democrats are struggling to recruit a viable candidate to run against her.

GEORGIA
While Senator David Perdue kicks off 2020 as the favorite for reelection in a state President Trump
won by six points, we will not take anything for granted after 2018’s razor thin governor’s race.
Former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has been named as a potential challenger, and
while she’s widely recognized as far too extreme for the state, her star power and fundraising
prowess should not be underestimated. The Perdue team is gearing up for the fight ahead.

MAINE
Senator Susan Collins has consistently outperformed expectations, winning reelection since 2002 by
double digit margins despite Maine’s Democrat tilt. Her bipartisan record and no-nonsense approach
is the right fit for the state, but after her support of Justice Kavanagh in 2018 she has become the
Democrat’s favorite target. Collins will be ready for the challenges ahead, raising $1.8 million in Q4
of 2018, allowing her to begin the 2020 cycle with more cash on hand than any candidate in the
history of Maine. She has also shown a willingness to aggressively attack potential challengers,
such as former US Ambassador Susan Rice, who has already come under fire for residency issues.

MISSISSIPPI
Senator Cindy Hyde Smith was elected to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat in a 2018 special
election and is up for reelection in 2020. Mississippi is a red state that voted for President Trump by
18 points. In spite of this political environment, she faced a tough race in 2018 and we will not take
anything for granted.

MONTANA
Montana is a red state that voted for President Trump by 20 points in 2016 but also just reelected
Democrat Senator Jon Tester. Senator Steve Daines is in a strong position for reelection, but former
Democrat Governor Steve Bullock has toyed with a run while simultaneously stoking presidential
ambitions. However, Bullock finds himself vulnerable after a recent sexual-harassment scandal put
him in the cross-hairs of other national Democrats. Senator Daines recently received coveted seats
on the powerful Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees, placing him in a strong position to
continue to deliver for Montanans.
P O LITI C A L U P DAT E

NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina will be a political hotbed in 2020, with elections for the President, Governor, and
junior Senate seat taking place all at once. President Trump won the state by four points in 2016, and
Senator Thom Tillis only won his race in 2014 by 1.5%. Senator Tillis begins as the favorite, running
on a strong legislative record and a reputation as a bipartisan dealmaker on issues like immigration
and military funding. However, while top Democrat recruit Vi Lyles has already decided against a
run, several other potential challengers are reportedly still deliberating, including State Senator Jeff
Jackson and 2016 candidate Deborah Ross. This race will be a nail-biter until the end.

TEXAS
Senator John Cornyn leads the money race with a whopping $5,790,126 on hand and starts as a
strong favorite to win reelection in 2020. He has put together an impressive team, has shored up
strong Conservative endorsements, and continues to raise significant amounts of money. No
significant challenger has emerged against him. However, Texas continues to trend blue, and after
Senator Ted Cruz’s too-close-for-comfort win in 2018, Senator Cornyn and his team are taking his
reelection campaign seriously.

OFFENSIVE TARGETS:
ALABAMA
Accidental Senator Democrat Doug Jones begins 2020 as the most vulnerable Senator on the map.
President Trump won Alabama by 28 points in 2016, and Jones’ “no” vote on Judge Kavanagh and
his position on issues like abortion and immigration have led many to refer to him as a “dead man
walking.” Multiple strong candidates have expressed interest in running, including Congressmen
Bradley Byrne and State Senator Del Marsh.

MICHIGAN
When prompted, 40% of Michiganders were unable pick their junior senator out of a lineup.
Democrat Senator Gary Peters starts the cycle with an alarmingly low job approval in a state Trump
carried in 2016. He’s an anemic fundraiser with a lackluster record. A number of strong Republican
candidates are eyeing the race, including John James, the businessman/Air Force pilot/fundraising
phenom who almost took out Debbie Stabenow in 2018.

MINNESOTA
While Minnesota has traditionally been a blue state, President Trump came within 1.5 points of
carrying it in 2016. Senator Tina Smith, who was appointed following former Senator Al Franken’s
resignation, is a total unknown who is out of step with the state. Smith is starting the cycle with an
P O LITI C A L U P DAT E

abysmal $433,783 on hand after raising just $67,000 in the last quarter of 2018. With a number of
strong candidates looking to take her on, including Karin Housley, who made a strong showing in
2018, Minnesota will be a race to watch.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

President Trump lost New Hampshire by only .04% in 2016, setting up an interesting dynamic for
2020. Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen starts 2019 with an embarrassing $467,000 in the bank after
winning reelection in 2014 by a mere 3%. With several high-profile Republican candidates looking at
the race, including Chris Sununu and Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire could get interesting.

VIRGINIA
With a scandal-ridden state Democratic party and an incumbent who won by less than 1% despite
outspending his Republican opponent 2-1, a strong Republican challenger would make Virginia a
competitive race. Ralph Northam’s yearbook scandal led to an almost immediate 41-point drop in his
approval rating, and shoes only continued to drop as his Lt. Governor now faces a #MeToo scandal
and the state Attorney General deals with his own racist photo problems. These scandals, combined
with a heated debate about extreme abortion proposals in the state legislature, could have lasting
impact on the political dynamics in Virginia and give Republicans an opportunity to capitalize.

OPEN SEATS:
TENNESSEE

Senator Lamar Alexander said he will not seek reelection, but a number of strong Republican
candidates have shown interest in the race, including former Governor Bill Haslam. After Senator
Marsha Blackburn’s resounding victory in 2018, we feel confident that Tennessee will remain in
our column but are taking nothing for granted.

KANSAS

Kansas is a typically red state that voted for Trump by 20 points in 2016, but just elected a Democrat
Governor. Upon news of Senator Pat Roberts retirement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s name
was immediately floated as a potential candidate, as was Congressman Roger Marshall and Kansas
Secretary of State Jake LaTurner. Democrats are attempting to recruit former governor Kathleen
Sebelius, who would face an uphill battle after serving as President Obama’s HHS secretary when
Obamacare was passed and implemented.