With the election a mere two weeks away, it would probably take a party-wide Republican scandal of Nixonian proportions to keep next year’s House in Democratic hands.
All major election handicappers are projecting that the GOP will gain control of the House in November, and some have even expanded the number of winnable seats for the party, a sign that there is little Democratic candidates can do other than pull down the sails and try to hold on for the storm.
First, the quick numbers:
Republicans need to net 39 seats to gain control.
Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics estimates the GOP will take 45 seats.
Nate Silver of the New York Times puts the number at 47, which would give the Republicans 227 House seats.
An estimate that seems conservative given the predictions of his peers, Charlie Cook gives the Republicans “at least 40 seats.”
While a Republican victory in the House seems to be conventional wisdom in Washington, the real story here is the money behind that possible victory. In the third quarter this year, about 40 Republican challengers have outraised the Democratic incumbents in the same district, Politico reported. The National Republican Campaign Committee raised more than $11 million in September alone and the independent conservative advocacy group American Crossroads raised $13 million dollars…last week.
That’s not to say the Democrats are cash strapped by any means. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is boasting more than $41 million in cash on hand, twice as much as their Republican counterpart.
The problem is that they have to spread that money out to places that have not needed extra help from the party in years.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the rate at which Republicans are pulling ahead has left Democrats scrambling to restructure the party’s campaign strategy. The party has abandoned 12 House seats it once thought competitive, choosing to put the money in races that appear more salvageable.