Exclusive: The RNC is treating Kamala Harris like the 2020 Dem frontrunner

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Who’s the frontrunner to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination? We’ve made some arguments before for Sen. Kamala Harris, focusing on social media buzz and other less-used metrics.

But here’s another: A tipster who receives all RNC press releases and “one-on-one” emails tells us that a survey of emails sent between January 1, 2019 and today shows more focus on Harris than on Sen. Bernie Sanders– a typically popular punching-bag for the GOP.

A ton of these RNC emails naturally focus on things like bashing the Green New Deal or undercutting former Trump lawyer/”rat” Michael Cohen.

The RNC also sends press releases out when its Chairwoman, Ronna Romney McDaniel, appears on TV (party chair TV appearances usually get about 30 viewers, so the committees like to bump up the numbers in any way they can, including with “In Case You Missed It” (ICYMI) emails with YouTube links to appearances).

But of those focusing on candidates, Kamala bests Bernie by at least one– even though Republicans have been at pains to raise Sanders’ profile since that enables them to more easily depict all Democrats as Democratic Socialists. That, in turn, is one of Trump’s favorite attacks on the party, and one he personally believes to be highly effective.

Typically, as each candidate enters the race, the RNC sends out a “Dem DL” email with some basic opposition research about the record.

Usually, the objective is to depict them as “too lefty” for the country.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee earned one of those last week. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper got one this week. These emails include an RNC spokesperson quote, plus a “Cheat Sheet.”

Here is a copy of Inslee’s:

But Kamala has been the subject of more, other and different emails. Maybe that’s not surprising since unlike Inslee, she does in fact have more than zero percent support. Here are the titles of a few:

  • icymi – Kamala Harris’ new book published with praise for ‘leadership’ of now-disgraced former aide” (links to a Fox News piece)
  • The Lies She Told” targeting Harris’ book
  • Kamala’s Calamitous 1st Month,” and just this morning…
  • “‘Buck stops with me’ – Kamala’s crises of mismanagement”

The way the big, national committees tend to work is they focus the bulk of their opposition research-gathering efforts, and attacks, on the targets they are most concerned about.

This is how we wound up hearing complaints from some RNC staff in the 2008 cycle that the GOP was not prepared to take on then-Sen. Obama (virtually all of its attention had been focused on then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, until Obama’s Iowa caucus win forced a rapid reassessment).

It’s also how the Democratic Party was slow to assemble genuinely cutting opposition research focused on Trump in 2016.

There was an assumption among Democrats as well as Republicans that Trump could never win a GOP primary, and that if he did, he’d detonate himself live and on stage.

So, the Democratic Party didn’t really get serious about researching and busting Trump until he was already a lock for the nomination.

Then, with the exception of the infamous Steele dossier, the focus remained less on problematic aspects of Trump’s business career (the line of attack that worked against Mitt Romney) and more Trump’s apparently racism and misogyny (which apparently is just fine with about 46 percent of voters this week).

The RNC could be mis-directing its focus with the attacks on Harris. But there is also a lot of evidence that she’ll be a top contender in the 2020 race. The RNC’s own behavior is some of it.

Write A Comment