Romney romp could ADD 12 GOP House seats

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

With some national polls showing a steady Mitt Romney rise over President Obama, House Republican strategists are junking their fears that Democrats could net 10-15 seats on Election Day and now predict they could win eight-12 more seats in a big Romney victory.

Strategists told Secrets that GOP pollsters are seeing big gains in rural areas and states like Nevada, North Carolina and Colorado ever since Romney won his first debate with President Obama. "It certainly is plausible now," said a GOP official of grabbing a dozen seats from Democrats.

What's more, a solid Romney victory could help in more Democratic-leaning states like New York where Republican House members are having difficulty hanging on. "He really could help us avoid some losses," said a House strategist.

More cautious party officials, however, believe that the "best case scenario" is for a gain of up to eight House seats, expanding the Republican margin over Democrats to 248-190. They've cut their worst case scenario to a net loss of seven-10 Republican seats.

And in an interview with popular radio host Tom Joyner Wednesday, President Obama didn't do much to cheer his side. He said that Democrats have a good chance to keep control of the Senate, but, "The House of Representatives is going to be tougher, but so much of this is going to depend on people voting."