GOP pollster's advice to Republicans in 2018: 'Be aggressive'

GOP lawmaker: Election a referendum on Trump
GOP lawmaker: Election a referendum on Trump

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  • Pollster to Republicans: "Raise money. Do opposition research. Test messages. Target key groups. Start early."

Washington (CNN)One Republican pollster has figured out the only way his party can win next fall: Destroy every Democratic candidate in sight.

In a memo, obtained by CNN's Chris Cillizza, pollster Glen Bolger outlines nine ways Republicans can strengthen their odds of winning in 2018 -- and it is seemingly not going to be easy.
    "Make no mistake about it. Tuesday (Election Day) was not just a bad night for Republicans in Virginia," Bolger writes. "The GOP lost three state legislative seats in Georgia special elections held in wealthy suburban districts, two seats on the Delaware County Council in suburban Philadelphia, the Westchester and Nassau County Executive races in New York, and a state senate special election in Washington state that tipped the balance in that chamber back to the Democrats, as well as other races around the country."
    As Cillizza has previously pointed out, Republicans may be in deep trouble in 2018. And Bolger's memo makes no doubts about the difficult environment for Republicans. He writes:
    "Do not sit on a lead. Elections are rife with incumbents who polled, saw a big early lead, and throttled down in the campaign, only to be upset. Just because a challenger has little name ID now does not mean a big lead will hold. This is no cycle to rest on your incumbency."
    Throughout the memo, Bolger -- who references past elections -- hints disaster is looming if Republicans don't play their cards right. He believes for Republicans, it is "better to plan for the worst and benefit if the political environment does get better than to sit back and wait for a bad mid-term election to come at you."
    That's right: "Plan for the worst." Why? Well as CNN previously reported, at least 25 Republicans have recently announced they are retiring, running for another office or resigning outright. Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to retake the majority from Republicans, who've had control of the House since 2011.
    Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping sexual harassment allegations against Alabama Republican senate nominee Roy Moore can help them win an unexpected seat in Senate.
    Bolger has a long list of suggestions that Republicans need to follow in order to even have any shot at winning in 2018.
    "Raise money. Do opposition research. Test messages. Target key groups. Start early. Be aggressive."
    "Be Aggressive" indeed.