Over the last four election cycles, the Defending Main Street Super PAC has compiled one of the best win-loss records of any independent expenditure group. Our effectiveness comes from our unique efficiency: 97 percent of the money we raise goes directly to benefit the candidates we support. We don’t subtract salaries or consulting fees.
Our members are Senators and Representatives in Congress, and our success is measured by theirs. Our goal is not our own enrichment but strengthening the forces of good government in the Republican Party. We are willing to open our books for inspection by any donor at any time.
In 2016, more than 20 of our members faced primary challenges. We successfully defended all but one of our members in those races; the exception was redistricted into a contest in which she faced a more senior incumbent Republican member of Congress, mostly on his home turf.
In the 2016 general election, Defending Main Street provided boots on the ground support to incumbent members who faced the strongest Democratic opponents and the highest spending from the Democratic organization and outside groups. We won 11 out of 12 of those contests; in our only loss, Rep. Bob Dold of Illinois came close to victory even though the Republican presidential candidate received less than one-third of the vote in that district.
It’s worth noting that in 5 out of 6 of these contests, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district represented by Main Street’s member. Overall, Main Street’s current membership includes 11 Representatives from districts carried by Clinton in 2016.
We also succeeded in helping Todd Young move from the House to the Senate despite the advantages of his Democratic opponent, former Senator and Governor Evan Bayh, in money and name recognition. Our support in this contest, as in the Republican primary, came in the form of “boots on the ground” grassroots efforts.
In addition, Defending Main Street helped to elect two new members in hotly contested districts. In addition to our signature grassroots field work deployed in both districts, we supported Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) with television advertisements and a digital campaign and helped Rep. John Faso (NY-19) with targeted mail campaigns.
We won 11 of the 12 races in which we deployed our trained grass roots professionals:
- Todd Young (IN Senate),
- Jeff Denham (CA-10),
- Erik Paulsen (MN -03),
- Dave Joyce (OH-14),
- Bill Shuster (PA-09),
- Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08),
- Barbara Comstock (VA-10),
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27),
- Carlos Curbelo (FL-26),
- John Faso (NY-19),
- Lee Zeldin (NY-01).