Obama: Um, the battle for the House is still very close

Well … no, no it isn’t. But we can’t begrudge the man some encouraging spin for his base lest they lose all hope and not turn out on Tuesday. At least, I hope that’s what this is. Pelosi’s already gone full Queeg, so who knows if he actually believes this crap.

President Obama didn’t quite say that he’s confident the Democrats will remain in control of the House after Election Day. But he did say he’s still confident that it still is a very close race.

I still feel confident that it is a very close race in terms of the House. You’ve got close races all across the country,” President Obama said, “So we’re going to have to wait and see what happens. And a lot of it is going to depend on turnout.”…

Obama predicted that regardless the outcome of the election that Democrats and Republicans “should be able to get some agreement” to get control of the nation’s deficits.

“We’ve got to make sure that moving forward we’re doing so on a responsible way, and that the best way for us to do it is to do it with a scalpel, not a machete, and to make sure that the cuts we’re making are not eliminating those things that are going to help us grow,” Obama said “If we can make sure that we are eliminating wasteful programs while at the same time growing the economy, that should be the sweet spot that we’re aiming for.”

Here’s a useful rule of thumb: If bookies are already paying out on the GOP retaking the House then things next week probably won’t be “very close.” Not only is The Hill now predicting “crushing nationwide defeats” for Democrats after a temperature check of key battleground districts, but as I write this, Intrade has the odds of a Republican House next year at a cool 89.5 percent. In fact, as you’ll see below, so confident is Charlie Cook of a Republican wave that not only does he now think a 60+ gain is more likely than the Democrats retaining control, he says he’ll go bag groceries for a living if he’s wrong. Eeyoreblogger pessimism status check: Extreme discomfort bordering on actual squirming.

In case you needed any extra incentive for Tuesday, Democratic insiders tell CQ Politics that Pelosi will likely resign her leadership position rather than go back to being minority leader. Which tells you a lot, actually, about how long they expect to be out of power: If Madam Speaker thought this was just a two-year blip, presumably she’d hang in there. Exit question: Is the “very close” talking point going to be part of Obama’s day-after spin? E.g., “Sure, we lost 60 seats, but half of them were by less than five points. That’s ‘very close.’ Sort of.”

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy