How to build an American majority, not a Republican majority – lessons from the Contract with America

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The Contract with America became famous because it was the centerpiece of the House Republican campaign, which won a majority for the first time in 40 years. 

As I mentioned in part two of this series, the Contract campaign stood on President Ronald Reagan’s shoulders.

The Contract’s Capitol Steps rally of candidates was modeled after the one with Reagan in September 1980. We knew it would draw media attention – because we had already done it.

REPUBLICANS, REAGAN STILL HAS LESSONS TO TEACH US IF WE WANT TO BUILD AN AMERICAN MAJORITY

In fact, Reagan himself had described a contract at that 1980 event saying, “This occasion marks the first time that legislative and executive candidates of a party have come together to propose a contract with the American people. But the times demand a unique response: For too long, government has been distant and uncaring, now we must return government to the people.”

The Contract was written with an understanding that nothing that was supported by fewer than 60 percent of the American people could be included. Ideally, we were aiming to only include issues with 70 percent support or more. By definition, that meant we

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