Republican strategist Karl Rove says Tuesday’s election results show the GOP has a “fighting chance” to keep the House.
Rove, who served as deputy White House chief of staff under President George W. Bush, made his comments in a column posted Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal.
He said: “After GOP state Sen. Troy Balderson’s narrow victory in the special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, Republicans understand what a 23-year-old war correspondent named Winston Churchill meant when he wrote, ‘Nothing in life is as exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
“The result denied Democrats momentum that would have jazzed up their base and helped fill the coffers of dozens of their House candidates.”
But Rove noted Republicans are not able to mount this sort of effort in every race in November.
“Worse yet for Republicans, the Cook Political Report says there are 50 at-risk GOP House seats that lean Republican by as much as or less than the district Mr. Balderson won by the skin of his teeth,” Rove said. “Democrats would need to win less than half of those 50 to take the House.”
But he said in 36 of those 50 most vulnerable districts, Republican incumbents are seeking re-election.
“Incumbency doesn’t matter in special elections, but it will loom large in the fall,” he said. “The bottom line: While Republicans will certainly lose House seats in November, they have a fighting chance to keep their majority.”
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