Tags: House | midterm elections | GOP | Pelosi

GOP Targeting More House Races in Midterms - Not Just Senate

By    |   Tuesday, 20 May 2014 10:58 AM

Republicans are not just looking to gain seats in the House this November. They're going for the jugular.

According to Politico, Oregon's Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has briefed party leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, and will formally unveil on Tuesday a new program targeted at winning 245 seats in the midterm elections, three more than Republicans controlled after regaining the majority in 2010.

Walden believes that if Republican donors don't forsake House elections in a bid to reclaim control of the Senate, the party can realistically capitalize on President Barack Obama's weak poll numbers to the tune of an additional 12 seats – the GOP currently controls 233 seats – which might rid them of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

"This ambitious effort is going to take substantial resources and dedication, given the commitment President Obama has made to taking out our members," Walden said in a statement. "But I’m confident that with so many outstanding recruits in districts all across the country, and with the wind at our backs, that we will continue to expand the playing field and rise to this challenge. If we do, we have the chance to force Nancy Pelosi into retirement and send her back to San Francisco."

Republicans remaining in control of the House is seen as a foregone conclusion, even after October's 16-day government shutdown, largely due to growing disenchantment with Obama and the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the lingering soft economy, and the president's foreign policy failures in Syria and Ukraine.

The GOP currently controls 233 House seats, with three seats vacant. A special election will be held on June 24 in Florida to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, but his seat is almost certain to remain in Republican control. That would give the party 234 seats heading into November.

The retirement of veteran Democratic Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, have left two seats ripe for Republican picking. Other opportunities for gains exist in Arizona, West Virginia, Georgia, and Minnesota.

But while Politico cites private and public forecasters predicting a gain of three to five seats, doubts remain about feasibility of an additional six to eight Republican pickups.

Behind vigorous fundraising by Pelosi, as well as help from Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has outraised the NRCC,  despite the Democrats’ minority party status.

Democrats have also targeted pickup opportunities in Staten Island — where Republican Rep. Michael Grimm will remain on the ballot despite being indicted on federal tax evasion and perjury charges — Iowa, New Jersey, and Colorado.

"To think that the most toxic Congress in American history will pick up 11 seats defies credulity," Emily Bittner, the DCCC's communications director, told Politico. "With Republicans' reckless record of turning their backs on the middle class to stack the deck for special interests and the wealthy, the only reaction voters will give Republicans in November is rejection."

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Republicans are not just looking to gain seats in the House this November. They're going for the jugular.
House, midterm elections, GOP, Pelosi
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 10:58 AM
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