Both Parties Are Built on Unstable Coalitions

Amy Walter: “Most important, both parties are built upon unstable coalitions. For Democrats, it is a coalition driven by demographics. The Democratic mantra for the last eight years has been built around the idea that an increasingly diverse and urbanizing electorate was going to build them a permanent Electoral College majority. But, as we saw in 2016 and every midterm election since 2008, the only Democrat who was able to mobilize the ‘Obama coalition’ was Barack Obama himself.”

“Republicans, meanwhile, have a shaky coalition of their own. As we saw throughout the Obama years, the House GOP leadership had very little capacity to rein in its rogue members. Having a GOP controlled Senate and White House will help heal some rifts (winning is the greatest unifying force in the world). However, there’s a new wrinkle for the GOP to grapple with this year: the fact that the Trump coalition and the traditional Republican coalition aren’t necessarily on the same page.”

For members: Does the Republican Party Stand for Anything?

Trump Goes to War with Kasich

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “The call was part of Trump’s last-minute effort in what has become an all-out political war with Ohio Gov. John Kasich. On Friday, Simpson and 65 other members of the GOP’s state central committee will vote on whether to dump Kasich ally Matt Borges as their chairman. Trump is backing Jane Timken, a prominent Republican activist and donor from Stark County.”

“Kasich is calling committee members on Borges’ behalf. But Trump’s involvement in the intraparty battle is an extraordinary step for an incoming president and shows how eager he is to settle scores that date to Kasich’s failed White House bid.”

Politico: “A Trump transition aide said the president-elect had phoned around a dozen committee members.”

How Quickly Things Changed for Republicans

Playbook: “A few months ago, Republicans were beginning to openly wonder whether Ryan could survive as speaker with Hillary Clinton in the White House. There was talk of the Wisconsin Republican being forced into retirement. Today, he’ll be re-elected as the House’s top Republican with ease, and will be a top figure in navigating Donald Trump’s Washington.”

“Another storyline: how many Democrats vote against Nancy Pelosi on the House floor. Some congressional insiders predict that only a handful of Democrats will vote against Pelosi, and that many of those who led the charge against her last year during the internal caucus election will fall into line and back the powerful Democrat on the House floor.”

Can Republicans Deliver on Their Promises?

New York Times: “After a tumultuous decade that has seen profound changes in the makeup and character of their party, Republicans are poised to complete their slow but steady climb back to power as they seize control of the House, Senate and the White House for the first time since 2006.”

“That political triad will leave them with a splendid opportunity for success. But there is little room for failure if they hope to satisfy their impatient constituents and deliver on bold promises to reshape the nation’s health care delivery system, restructure the tax code, drive job creation, muscle up American foreign policy, rebuild a crumbling infrastructure and set America on a new course.”

Wall Street Journal: “The nation’s new, all-Republican leadership begins to take power Tuesday with an ambitious agenda of tax cuts, regulation rollbacks and repeal of President Barack Obama’s health law, but they face a complicated legislative path pocked with unresolved policy details.”

Trump Signals Cease Fire with GOP Leaders

Washington Post: “Trump has, by all accounts, patched up his once-turbulent relationship with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). To fill top jobs in his administration, Trump has chosen five sitting lawmakers, as well as the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). And he has passed up opportunities to meddle in congressional business in ways that might have pleased his populist base but frustrated Republican leaders.”

“The detente in Trump’s war on GOP leaders reflects the unifying power of victory, the moderating influence of Vice President-elect Mike Pence and incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and, most of all, a shared desire to make good on years of Republican campaign promises.”

New Trump Group Could Weaken RNC

Washington Examiner: “Trump’s lieutenants are comparing the new group, still under development, to Organizing For Action, the political nonprofit formed by President Obama to harness the grassroots energy that propelled his campaigns and promote his legislative agenda.”

“Democrats blame OFA for steering resources and activism that is the lifeblood of any party organization away from the Democratic National Committee, leaving it atrophied and ineffective as it prepares for an uncertain, post-Obama future.”

“Republicans fret that Trump’s 501(c)4 could similarly undercut the Republican National Committee. The fear is that it would weaken the RNC financially and organizationally, damaging the party down ballot even as it possibly boosts the president-elect’s 2020 re-election bid, as OFA did for Obama in 2012.”

Republicans Much More Optimistic About Their Party

Pew Research: “Today, 79% of Republicans say they are very or somewhat optimistic about the future of the Republican Party. In early November, on the eve of the election, 61% of Republicans expressed optimism about their party’s future.”

“Democrats’ optimism about their party’s future has declined by a comparable margin over the same period – though a majority (61%) continues to be optimistic. Before the election, 77% of Democrats were optimistic about the party’s future, which is almost identical to the share of Republicans who are upbeat about their party’s now.”

RNC Security Foiled Russian Hackers

“Russian hackers tried to penetrate the computer networks of the Republican National Committee, using the same techniques that allowed them to infiltrate its Democratic counterpart,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“But the intruders failed to get past security defenses on the RNC’s computer networks, the officials said. And people close to the investigation said it indicated a less aggressive and much less persistent effort by Russian intelligence to hack the Republican group than the Democratic National Committee. Only a single email account linked to a long-departed RNC staffer was targeted.”

Has Trump United the Republican Party?

Josh Kraushaar: “In a sign that Trump is bring­ing new­found unity to the GOP, con­sider Her­it­age Ac­tion for Amer­ica’s view of the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion. The tea-party-aligned group was a con­stant thorn in the side of es­tab­lish­ment Re­pub­lic­ans through the Obama years, op­pos­ing party lead­er­ship on im­mig­ra­tion, spend­ing bills, and cor­por­ate sub­sidies. Its al­lies in Con­gress routinely gave John Boehner head­aches. Now the group views Don­ald Trump’s agenda in sync with its own prin­ciples.”

“It’s a re­mark­able change in tone from a group that launched its polit­ic­al arm in op­pos­i­tion to the Re­pub­lic­an es­tab­lish­ment.”

McDaniel Seen As Favorite to Head RNC

“Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel has emerged as the consensus favorite to head the party with President-elect Donald Trump headed to Michigan on Friday as part of his post-election ‘thank you’ tour,” Reuters reports.

“With Trump to attend a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday night, party officials said he may signal his support for McDaniel, a niece of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.”