Brushing aside the potential spoiling effect of two divisive presidential candidates, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee insisted Friday that the House will stay red come November.
Asked about the possibility of a Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) nomination flipping the chamber to Democratic control, NRCC chair Greg Walden (R-OR) told The Hill, “I rule it out.”
“I don’t see it happening,” Walden continued. “I don’t see it happening, not at this point in time. There is no evidence to indicate that’s even building.”
In March, however, the Cook Political Report released an analysis of congressional races that moved 10 races closer to Democrats’ favor in the case of a Trump or Cruz nomination.
Despite the GOP having the largest House majority in over eight decades, this unpredictable campaign season has upended much of the conventional wisdom about how the 2016 presidential and congressional elections were likely to play out. Democrats have gained new confidence.
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), who serves as the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, flatly told The Hill on Wednesday that “the House is in play because of their nominee.”
Walden remains assured that Republicans will maintain control, partly because of redistricting efforts that “locked” certain districts in ways that benefit the GOP.
“There’s a floor that we have that is better than we’ve ever had. It’s well over 200,” Walden told The Hill. “They are locked and there are people above that are fine. Does the DCCC have a straight-face list of how they get to 218?”