NBC News: GOP recruitment struggles give Democrats hope in 2022 Senate fight

I spoke to NBC NewsSahil Kapur about New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu’s decision to forgo a Senate challenge and what it means for GOP majority hopes.

“All things equal, Sununu taking a pass is an unequivocally positive development for Democrats,” said Liam Donovan, a lobbyist and former Senate Republican campaign aide. “But in addition to recruiting breaks, Dems need the national environment to improve considerably over the next year or they stand losing to a less heralded group of GOP majority makers.”

Read the full piece here.

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TNR: Chris Sununu Won’t Run for Senate

I spoke to Grace Segers of The New Republic about New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu’s decision to forgo a Senate challenge and what it means for the hopes of a GOP majority.

It’s obviously a disappointment, as a Sununu candidacy would immediately make [New Hampshire] the marquee race of the cycle, but given the results of last week’s elections, it’s not the mortal blow it otherwise might have been,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist. “At this point, the GOP Senate majority is going to be a function of solid recruits riding a friendly environment.”

Donovan told The New Republic that Republicans needed to avoid “messy primaries” that could produce disappointing candidates and that the New Hampshire race would now be a test of that premise. “All in all, Senate [Republicans] have to feel better about where things stand today than they did a week ago, even with Sununu passing,” Donovan said.

Read the full piece here.

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CNN: Glenn Youngkin wrote the GOP playbook to navigate the Trump factor. Can it be replicated in 2022?

I spoke to CNN’ Eric Bradner about Glenn Youngkin’s successful campaign in Virginia and what Republicans can take away from his victory.

“The biggest thing Youngkin was able to do was bridge the gap between the increasingly populist base and some of the more mild-mannered traditional Republicans voters who blanched at Trump’s style,” said veteran Republican strategist Liam Donovan.

Trump endorsed Youngkin and issued a series of statements praising him. He also held an invite-only tele-rally on the eve of the election that was organized without Youngkin’s involvement. But he did not visit the state, and after his ban from major social media platforms, did not have a significant role in the race.”Glenn benefited from Trump’s relatively low profile, both in the sense that his absence undermined McAuliffe’s preferred argument, and because his nominal support was still a key signifier for motivating MAGA-minded voters who might otherwise be wary of an establishment-friendly candidate,” Donovan said.

Youngkin also brought his own strengths to the table. The former Rice basketball player and chief executive of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group was an unproven commodity as a first-time candidate — and carried the risk of facing attacks similar to those Mitt Romney faced as a presidential candidate in 2012.

“Glenn proved to be a really solid, natural retail pol, which as a first time candidate was not always assured. You can’t teach that,” Donovan said.

Read the full piece here.

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