Adding a dozen House seats in this environment might be considered a gimme. Yet the latest betting is that Republicans will get only three to eight seats. Meaning, a blowout night for the GOP still lands it with a smaller majority than it had in 2010.
Party officials offer reasons for the puny numbers. They note that the huge GOP victory in 2010, and the redistricting that followed, gave the party ownership over pretty much every conservative seat in Congress. The Democratic Blue Dogs are all but extinct. Georgia’s John Barrow is, literally, the last, white elected House Democrat in the Deep South, and a few other last holdouts in conservative seats—Utah’s Joe Matheson and North Carolina’s Mike McIntyre —are retiring. The easy “gets” have been got, which means the GOP must battle for seats in more liberal districts, in more liberal states—California, New York, Illinois.
The House Republican team, like its counterpart in the Senate, is also getting beaten on fundraising. The left’s dollar advantage has allowed Democrats to throw money at races the party knows it can’t win—simply to force Republicans to spend their more precious dollars defending candidates. And it has allowed Democrats to outspend Republicans in competitive races.