Dem hopes of taking House up in smoke

At this point, it looks like the GOP will hold on to the House of Representatives by a comfortable, if not overwhelming margin.

The Hill:

Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach.

The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given her party a better than 50-50 chance of wresting control of the lower chamber - but missed opportunities in specific races and increasing economic worries have put that prediction in doubt.

"The environment certainly isn't as good as it was six months ago for Democrats," a senior Democratic strategist who works on House races told The Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment candidly.

"Democrats are way off track of where they need to be to regain the majority," said David Wasserman, the House race editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

The situation for the left is slightly better in the Senate, where strong recruitment and the surprise retirement of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has increased Democrats' odds of holding the upper chamber.

A major reason the GOP is in such good shape is due to their 2010 tsunami election victory that took over so many statehouses. Redistricting could have been a disaster, but instead, the Republicans were able to protect many of the gains they made.

But in 2014, the Democrats will be in pretty good shape. The party out of power in the White House usually does very well in the first by-election of a new president's term. If they get within 10 seats in 2012, it will be an uphill climb for the GOP to hang on to the House in 2014.