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Boehner bullish on retaining House majority, speaker's gavel

November 05, 2012|By Lisa Mascaro
  • House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) remained confident Monday that Republicans would retain control of the lower chamber.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) remained confident Monday that… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John A. Boehner predicted that not only would his party retain control of the House, but it also might even gain seats at Democrats’ expense.

“I’ve never been into this idea that we had to lose seats,” Boehner said Monday on “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News. “I’m doing everything I can to make sure we lose none.”

Boehner has become more bullish over Tuesday’s outcome as Democratic hopes for a takeover of the House have all but faded with tightened races.

The speaker embarked on a bus tour across his battleground home state over the weekend in a final push for the Republican ticket. Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, the minority leader, has been in a similar sprint in the last days of the election. Democrats countered Monday that their fundraising and ground game are superior to Republicans and will turn out votes.

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Analysts say Democrats are expected to fall short of the 25 seats needed to regain the majority and  could even end up with a net loss, which would be a dramatic slide from their earlier hopes.

The House is on track to become an even more polarized body than during this session of Congress, as Republicans from the robust freshman class swept in on the 2010 wave are largely on track to retain their seats. Redistricting has shored up Republican-held districts, as moderates on both sides of the aisle have dwindled in number.

“We will hold our majority, and I expect that I’ll continue to be speaker,” Boehner said.

Boehner’s job wrangling his often unruly majority has tested his leadership skills, and the speaker’s role is not likely to become any easier even if his party remains in control of the House and Mitt Romney were to become president. The conservative flank in the House is likely to keep its majority of the Republican conference, and Boehner acknowledged not having a deep personal relationship with Romney.

“I wouldn’t say we’re the closest of friends, but we understand each other very well,” he said. 

INTERACTIVE: Battleground states map

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lisa.mascaro@latimes.com

Twitter: @LisaMascaroinDC

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