The head of the House GOP campaign arm reportedly predicted to staffers on Tuesday afternoon that Republicans will maintain a “slim majority” in the House after the midterm elections.
“It has been a tough fight and we will know the answer soon, but my prediction is that we hold a slim majority,” Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers say Steve King’s loss could help them in November Longtime GOP Rep. Steve King defeated in Iowa primary Five things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries MORE (R-Ohio), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, wrote in an email.
Stivers reportedly indicated to staff that the party’s ability to hold the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections hinged on the performance of 14 candidates projected to win, but whose leads fell within the margin of error.
“The fact that we are in this fight is a testament to your hard work and dedication,” Stivers wrote. “We were facing mighty headwinds and historical precedents.”
Democrats have expressed confidence that they will pick up the 23 seats needed to retake the majority in the House, and elections handicappers have favored their odds of doing so. Democrats have held comfortable leads on generic congressional ballots heading into Election Day, and the president’s party typically loses seats in Congress in his first midterm election.
GOP leaders have remained outwardly optimistic about their chances to keep the House, though President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and others have, in recent days, appeared resigned to some losses.
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Republicans have better odds of gaining ground in the Senate, where 10 Democrats are up for re-election in states President Trump won in 2016.
—Updated at 7:48 p.m.