Latest Ripon Forum examines what Congressional Republicans Should Do to Help GOP Candidates and the State of the Race Next Year

WASHINGTON, DC — With the 2024 election less than 12 months away, the latest edition of The Ripon Forum examines what new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson can do to help GOP candidates on the campaign trail and the state of the race heading into next year.

Leading the Forum’s coverage is veteran strategist John Feehery. Feehery knows something about House Speakers because he used to work for one and spent almost two decades working for the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill.  He draws on his experience in an essay in which he advises Speaker Johnson to approach the job with one goal in mind — to govern like its 1999.

“In 1999, Congressional Republicans, facing daunting poll numbers after a failed (and unpopular) attempt to oust President Clinton through impeachment, decided to go positive,” Feehery writes in this latest edition.  “The purpose of the effort was not necessarily to make new laws, but neither was it to mindlessly waste the time of the American people and their elected representatives.

“The purpose was to provide the voters with a stark contrast in governing philosophy between the two parties, but to do so in a respectful and diligent way. And of course, it was also to condition Republican lawmakers to the idea that the GOP was no longer going to be the party of ‘no.’ We were going to work to get solid accomplishments for the voters and do so in a way that would reflect conservative governing principles.”

Respected pollsters David Winston and Myra Miller offer similar advice in another piece for the Forum.  In an essay in which they examine the political environment heading into next year’s campaign, the pair argue that, no matter how unpopular the President and Democratic policies appear to be, Republicans must provide voters with an alternative if they are going to have the best chance to win.

“The strongest positioning for Republicans will be around the economy,” Winston and Miller write.  “This means not just criticizing Biden policies, with which there is clear dissatisfaction, but offering alternative solutions — what Republicans would do. Opportunities are there if Republicans can effectively take advantage of them.”

According to Kyle Kondik, Republicans my need to take advantage of every opportunity they can. Kondik is the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball newsletter.  A longtime observer of American politics, he has looked at last month’s elections and concluded that the results do “not point to big problems” for the Democrats.  That said, he acknowledges that “presidential elections are different than mid-terms or odd-numbered year elections, with much larger electorates and the party leaders themselves on the ballot.”

Two Democratic leaders who may be eying presidential runs down the road are Governor Gavin Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris. Both are from California, and both once held public office in San Francisco, where Newsom once served as Mayor and Harris once served as District Attorney.  According to California Republican Congressman Kevin Kiley, their record both in the City by the Bay and statewide is one every American should be aware of in the event either or both run for higher office.

“While both Newsom and Harris played starring roles in San Francisco’s decline,” Kiley writes, “each has also had a significant hand in spreading the city’s radical politics beyond the peninsula.  Newsom, the former Mayor, has taken the state further left than ever before, causing crime, homelessness, and unaffordability to increase dramatically during his governorship …Harris, as California Attorney General also helped spread the lawlessness of her home city statewide.”

In other pieces for this latest edition, EJ Antoni of the Heritage Foundation takes a hard look at Bidenomics and says there are some things about it that every American should know.  Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, who serves as Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, explains why it is important for America to maintain our advantage in quantum computing.

With the 2024 race now officially underway, Forum Deputy Editor Caroline Banaszak writes about candidates to watch in the coming campaign and 15 Republicans we all may be hearing more about next year.  James Wallner of the R Street Institute and former Congressman and Cabinet Secretary Dan Glickman square off in a debate over the electoral college and whether it should be preserved.

And in the latest Ripon Profile, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis discusses what Republicans need to do to reclaim their majority in the Senate.

The Ripon Forum is published six times a year by The Ripon Society, a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.