GOP May Pick Up a Dozen House Seats

Monday, 11 Aug 2014 11:45 AM

By Andrea Billups

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Republicans may add as many as a dozen U.S. House seats, USA Today reported.

Republican efforts will likely be abetted by redrawn districts, making some seats less competitive, historic lows for turnout among Democrats during a midterm election, and President Barack Obama's drop in popularity, forcing many Democrats to distance themselves from Washington's political stalemate and rancor, according to the newspaper.

USA Today cited how the nonpartisan Cook Report ranked only 16 of 435 House districts  as being so competitive neither party has a clear advantage, with 13 of them held by Democrats.

Democrats are now forced to turn to registering more voters and raising money as they move away from the White House for support.

"They have to run from their leaders; they cannot embrace them," Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican who heads campaign efforts for the House GOP, told USA Today. "The only thing they can embrace is the fundraising. I'd rather be us than them."

His Democratic counterpart for House elections disagrees. New York Rep. Steve Israel says Republicans are vulnerable because of the backlash against their ability to govern.

"You're going into a midterm election with voter revulsion aimed at Republicans," Israel told USA Today.

A Gallup analysis that looked at partisanship and its advantage to political parties found a tough season emerging for Democrats who must increasingly rely on turnout for any gains in November.

"Democrats currently have a narrow advantage in terms of Americans' identification with the two major parties, but based on historical turnout and other structural patterns, this small advantage suggests that the Democrats face a tough election environment this year," according to a Gallup statement on July 31.

"As Gallup demonstrated earlier this summer, President [Barack] Obama's below-average job approval rating and Americans' low level of satisfaction with the way things are going in the country are also ominous signs for the Democrats. Historically, these indicators are unlikely to change in a short period of time such as the three months between now and Election Day."

It is "imperative that Democrats match or exceed Republican turnout this fall if they hope to keep control of the Senate and minimize the size of the Republican majority in the House," Gallup said in the statement.

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