House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) argued Thursday that Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) projection that Republicans have a “one-in-three” chance of losing the House is overly optimistic for the GOP.
“When John Boehner says we have a one in three chance of winning, you can bet your sweet life it’s a higher chance than that,” Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, contended in an interview on MSNBC.
Republicans in 2010 recaptured the House with a net gain of 63 seats, the largest shift in party control of the lower chamber in more than six decades. That victory came about in large part because of an electorate fueled by anger at the country’s struggling economy, the national health care overhaul and the ballooning national debt.
Hoyer contended Thursday that while voters were “extraordinarily angry” two years ago, that fury has since largely subsided and that the chances for Democrats to win the 25 seats necessary to retake the House are now closer to 50-50.
“I think that anger is not totally dissipated, but it’s certainly a lot less,” he said. “There is apprehension – fear, in some cases -- about where our country is going, and we need to get on the right track. But I think there’s going to be a more positive atmosphere for Democrats running, and therefore I think that some of these moderate districts – which are by definition swing districts – I think they’re going to swing back.”
With Obama’s approval rating still underwater in many of those swing districts, however, Democrats may have a tall task ahead of them.
Video of Hoyer’s full interview is available here.