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NRCC Chair: We'll Keep Control of the House

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Greg Walden at the RNC in July. (AP)

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Friday, 09 Sep 2016 09:51 AM Current | Bio | Archive

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden has flatly dismissed claims by Democrats that they will make big gains in the House of Representatives this fall.

“I feel very, very strongly we’ll maintain the majority in the House of Representatives,” Walden said Thursday morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Walden nonetheless cited polls in what he called “the 24 most competitive [House] districts in the nation” showing Hillary Clinton as well as Trump rated more unfavorably than favorably.

According to a just-completed NRCC poll of those districts, he said, voters favor Republican candidates for Congress by a margin of 49 to 39 percent over Democratic candidates.

The House GOP’s campaign chief added that while voters in those district give Trump a favorable-unfavorable rating of 38 to 58 percent, “they are not much different from Hillary Clinton’s ratings, which are 41 to 56 percent favorable-unfavorable.”

Noting that Democratic nominee Christina Hartman says she is getting support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its super PAC in Pennsylvania’s open 16th District (where veteran Rep. Joe Pitts is retiring), I asked Walden if he felt there are other seats in historically Republican districts that are suddenly coming into play.

“You are always going to have seats that come into play and seats that go out of play,” Walden replied. But he also noted that there are other Republican-held seats in which early Democratic hopes were dashed.

“In California-10, the Democrat facing Jeff Denham is someone who already lost to him by double digits,” Walden told me. “In Michigan-8, Melissa Gilbert [who starred in the 'Little House on the Prairie' television series in the 1980s] proved to be such a bad candidate that she got out and Democrats are struggling to find a new opponent to [GOP Rep.] Mike Bishop.”

Other Democratic disappointments underscored by Walden were in New Jersey’s 3rd District (Democrats did not get their preferred opponent to Rep. Tom MacArthur) and Arizona’s 2nd District, where it looks like smooth sailing for freshman GOP Rep. Martha McSally.

Returning to the question of whether the long-time Republican bastion in Pennsylvania’s 16th District is truly vulnerable, Walden said that State Sen. and GOP nominee Lloyd Smucker is “an outstanding candidate” and should have no trouble keeping Pitts’ seat.

“And in Ohio, the DCCC has not laid down a [television] buy for a single [House] district,” added Walden. “Right now, I would rather be us than them.”

The campaign chief also paid tribute to House Speaker Paul Ryan and the fundraising he has done for the NRCC.

“He set the fundraising record for any speaker, $30 million, $2.7 million in August alone,” Walden said.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
 

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National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden has flatly dismissed claims by Democrats that they will make big gains in the House of Representatives this fall.
walden, nrcc, 2016, paul ryan
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2016-51-09
Friday, 09 Sep 2016 09:51 AM
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