Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, crowed on Wednesday that “I think what is out there is a Republican pickup...we’re going to pick up seats.” And, he added, “we are not going to get routed” by the Democrats.
His prediction challenged that of House Speaker John Boehner who recently suggested that there is a one-in-three chance the Democrats could win back the majority. It also prompted a laugh from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Said spokesman Jesse Ferguson, “that’s laughable and don’t take my word for it, take John Boehner’s.”
Sessions suggested that all Boehner was trying to do was keep House Republicans on their toes and fight feelings of overconfidence. “It made my job easier,” said Sessions, adding that he’s looking for gains in seats once held by moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats.
Most analysts have been suggesting that the Democrats will win back 5-15 seats, shy of the 25 needed to reinstall Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker. Many GOP analysts have agreed with that prediction for months. Democrats say they’ve got 67 districts in their “red to blue” campaign and are confident of a fall victory on the coattails of President Obama.
Sessions and deputy, Rep. Greg Walden, however, said the trend lines seen in this week’s elections support a GOP resurgence. Sessions, for example, noted that the Tea Party is alive and well as seen in the Indiana GOP’s rejection of long-serving Sen. Richard Lugar for conservative fave Richard Mourdock. He said that the same issues that gave the GOP the majority in 2010 are still strong, including anger at Obamacare and government regulations.
Walden added that the shocking West Virginia Democratic presidential primary vote, where a jailed inmate in Texas won 40 percent of the vote, showed that blue collar Americans, especially those in energy states sneered at by the administration, are turning on Obama. “The president’s policies met blue collar reality,” said Walden.