The Republican Party will pick up five to eight seats in House elections this year, adding to its current majority total of 242, says Guy Harrison, executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
“The amazing thing is we picked up a net 63 seats last cycle, and we’re talking about picking up seats again,” he told Newsmax.TV’s John Bachman at the GOP convention in Tampa. “That just shows you how forward thinking we are and really the fact that we’re going to be able to put a Republican seat in Massachusetts, a Republican seat in Rhode Island.”
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The party will pick up seats in California, Illinois, and New York too, Harrison says. “These aren’t traditionally Republican areas, but we have great candidates across the country that are doing really well.”
The three most exciting races now are in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Florida, Harrison says. In Florida, it’s feisty freshman Rep. Allen West, who faces Democratic businessman Patrick Murphy in November.
“The fact is that we have a young punk that’s decided to go against Allen West,” Harrison said. “He’s called Allen West a coward. That’s one thing that I’ve never heard about Allen West before — coward.”
The NRCC is in good shape financially, Harrison says. “We have a $12 million cash-on-hand lead against our counterpart, the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee),” he said.
“We’ve got about $50 million cash on hand, so we feel very good about where our fundraising is going. We’re going to have the money to be able to defy our opponent, which is what we do.”
The NRCC gets about a third of its donations from the re-election committees of congressmen themselves, one-third from large donors, and one-third from small donors. “We want to build on a very broad base, and we feel very good about all of those donations,” Harrison said. “Last cycle we actually got outspent by our Democratic counterparts, even though we were winning all those races. The enthusiasm keeps on building.”
The House GOP is pleased as punch to see one of its own — Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan — on the White House ticket. “For the House members it’s always been a labor of love on the political side. There’s always more flash and dash in Senate races and presidential races,” Harrison said.
“For those who follow the House, we like being there because of the kind of leaders that we have. When you look at conservative thought and ideas, they always come from the House. Since 1976 House members have been talking about everything from supply-side economics to welfare reform. It all starts in the House, and we believe that ideological change really starts in the House.”
Harrison has a passion for what he does. “You know, at the NRCC we’ve got the greatest job in politics,” he said. “We get to wake up every day, kick a Democrat in the rear, and it’s better than coffee, better than orange juice.”
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