Reporting from Washington — The House GOP’s campaign arm believes the Democrats’ “drive for 25” seats to retake the House majority is more like a long haul for at least 30 seats, thanks primarily to retirements of conservative Blue Dog Democrats from districts that strongly lean Republican.
Noting that the party in power in the White House has not netted more than a 15-seat gain in the House since Lyndon B. Johnson was president, GOP leaders said Monday the Democratic effort would be an uphill climb.
“They would have to break a whole lot of historical precedent to get to 25 -- and it’s not really 25 any more they’re shooting for,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who heads recruitment efforts for the National Republican Congressional Committee, at a briefing at GOP headquarters.
With Democrats now controlling 193 seats, they need to net 25 seats this fall to retake the House majority. Republicans said four retirements in GOP strongholds in Arkansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma have left Democrats without strong replacement candidates, all but “abandoning” those seats to the Republicans. Redistricting nets the GOP at least one other seat, the Republicans said.