Boehner: 1 in 3 chance GOP loses House
After a wave election like 2010, there are always several first termers who lose re-election, largely because they were victorious in districts heavily tilted toward the other side. This time it will be no different, and how those rookies take on their opponents in November - some of them running against the ex-congressman they unseated - will tell the tale as to whether the Republicans can keep control of the House.
"We're looking at both sides of the coin," Cory Fritz told CNN. "Of course there is a chance that we could lose and we want to make sure we're doing everything we can so that our members have the resources they need so they can run and win."
Fritz noted there's a perception among some supporters that the "House is kind of lock," but he stressed "it would be mistake for anyone to take that for granted."
Supporters and donors have largely focused on the race for the White House and taking control of the Senate rather than House races. House Democrats would have to pick up 25 seats to retake the majority in the House.
Boehner also told Fox, "we've got a big challenge and we've got work to do."
A senior House GOP leadership aide echoed the need to highlight the importance of the House to the party's agenda for 2012.
"If you're a Republican, no matter what you want to do it's not going to matter if we don't keep the House," the aide said. "We've got to be prepared and people need to realize that."
In the interview, the speaker pointed out there are 32 districts in states where "there is no presidential campaign going to be run, no big Senate race." Specifically Boehner called 18 Congressional districts in California, New York and Illinois "orphan districts," where Romney is not expected to win, and said they are "frankly pretty vulnerable."
Asked about the House GOP candidates in those districts, Fritz said, "The goal is to get others to see that we have a lot of members in these states that need help."
Democratic gerrymandering in California, New York, and Illinois have been especially outrageous and will cost the GOP dearly in those states. There is also a problem for the GOP with open seats, as some long time incumbents are retiring thus throwing those races into the "toss up" or "lean Dem" category.
Republicans will make up some ground in the Sun Belt and the south, but most analysts have the GOP losing 10-25 seats at this point. At the very least, the Republican advantage in the House will narrow and set the Dems up for a good shot at recapturing the lower chamber in 2014.