President Obama's nonstop fundraising for congressional Democrats is building a huge campaign war chest for next fall, but there is little hope that his party will win back control of the House and make Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaker again, according to an exhaustive new analysis.
But the report from the University of Virginia's Center for Politics also shows that Obama may suffer the fewest losses of House seats for a second-term president since Ronald Reagan in 1986, itself a big victory.
"While it would be foolish to rule out any outcome, there is no indication at this point that the Republican House majority is in jeopardy," said Kyle Kondik, the House analyst on Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball team.
His report suggest that the Republicans will boost their numbers by five seats in 2014. The average loss by the president's party in the sixth year of an administration since 1946 is 21 seats. Dwight D. Eisenhower lost a high of 48 in 1958, Reagan lost five in 1986, and Bill Clinton picked up 5 in 1998.
The reasons for so little change, Kondik said, is that there are few vulnerable seats on either side and the the national political climate is "pretty neutral." He did warn, however, that if the scandals rocking the White House get worse, the Democrats could suffer bigger losses.
But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee isn't worried and believes it continues to have a chance of winning GOP seats and maybe even the majority. Emily Bittner, DCCC spokeswoman, told Secrets that the organization favors the analysis by congressional expert Charlie Cook that 51 Republican-held seats could be competitive.
"These seats will continue to be in play for as long as House Republicans continue to refuse to solve the real problems the country is facing and instead myopically focus on their extreme ideology — look no further than their hearing [last week] when an all-male panel said it's rare for rape to result in pregnancy," she said.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org