Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House
April 23rd, 2012
08:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is sounding some alarm bells, saying "there's a one-in-three chance" Republicans could lose control of the House of Representatives in 2012.

Boehner sounded less than confident he would retain his gavel in an interview slated to air Tuesday on Fox News.

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"I would say that there is a two-in-three chance that we win control of the House again but there's a one-in-three chance that we could lose and I'm being myself, frank," Boehner told Fox News, according to a transcript of the interview.

Until now the speaker has not raised any concerns about his party's chances to keep control of the House this fall, and it's unusual for a top party leader to publicly express a pessimistic outlook.

But a spokesman for Boehner's political arm said the speaker was being "candid" and his comments were a deliberate move to remind supporters and potential donors that House Republicans need support this fall.

"We're looking at both sides of the coin," Cory Fritz told CNN. "Of course there is a chance that we could lose and we want to make sure we're doing everything we can so that our members have the resources they need so they can run and win."

Fritz noted there's a perception among some supporters that the "House is kind of lock," but he stressed "it would be mistake for anyone to take that for granted."

Supporters and donors have largely focused on the race for the White House and taking control of the Senate rather than House races. House Democrats would have to pick up 25 seats to retake the majority in the House.

Boehner also told Fox, "we've got a big challenge and we've got work to do."

A senior House GOP leadership aide echoed the need to highlight the importance of the House to the party's agenda for 2012.

"If you're a Republican, no matter what you want to do it's not going to matter if we don't keep the House," the aide said. "We've got to be prepared and people need to realize that."

In the interview, the speaker pointed out there are 32 districts in states where "there is no presidential campaign going to be run, no big Senate race." Specifically Boehner called 18 Congressional districts in California, New York and Illinois "orphan districts," where Romney is not expected to win, and said they are "frankly pretty vulnerable."

Asked about the House GOP candidates in those districts, Fritz said, "The goal is to get others to see that we have a lot of members in these states that need help."

So far Democrats have shown some optimism about the odds of regaining the majority in the House, but have been careful not to sound overconfident.

Asked last week to predict if Democrats could win back the House, their campaign chief, New York Rep. Steve Israel told CNN, "the House is in range."

The number two House Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer told reporters last month if the economic recovery continued, "our chances are reasonably good that we can take back the House."

Also see:

Giuliani endorses Romney, downplays being running mate

Huntsman compares GOP to Communist Party of China

RNC formally backs Walker in recall


Filed under: 2012 • John Boehner
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. InVT

    It doesn't make any difference. The need for a super majority and the Republican willingness to use filibusters means the Republicans can stop everything.
    Just like they have been. They are called the 'Party of No' for a reason.

    April 24, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Lolo

    Stevie Wonder could have saw that coming. LOL!!!!!!!!!! Come November they will experience the real waterloo.

    April 24, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Jack from Illinois

    If Boehrange admits to a one in three chance, odds are actually even or better.

    One may only hope.

    April 24, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. dreamer96

    Oh.. I hope, I hope, I hope, Please, Please, Please, Yes, Yes, Yes,...no more party of noquist and his pledge...I hope, I hope,
    I hope..

    April 24, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. Alex

    Where are the JOBS, Boehner????!!!!

    April 24, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Larry - Hazleton, Pa

    They deserve to lose as they have done nothing to help the people in the past 2 years. NOTHING!!

    April 24, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. brian in dc

    Well it's not for lack of trying. Reid sits on anything and everything coming out of the house.

    April 24, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. brian in dc

    Yeah, let's have a Dem majority, worked so well the last time (sarcasm off).

    April 24, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Boehner also told Fox, "we've got a big challenge and we've got work to do."

    Any work that could have been done by this Congress is long past it's expiration date. Sitting on his hands and passing bills he knew where not going anywhere didn't work the way Boehner originally intended it to. That, and sending GOPer pundits all across America's news and print media laughing and giggling over "just how bad things are" (wink, wink) probably didn't help either.

    America got a real glimpse this "leader" the first time he publically shed his tears. He didn't prove us wrong in our opinion of his, er, weaknesses, did he?

    April 24, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. rockysfan

    From your lips to God's ear Boehner; it should be so easy to defeat you rethugs!

    April 24, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    If you want to keep the ever growing Nanny State and the Nero Model, then vote democrat. If you believe in Personal Responsibility then Vote Republician. Realise the "Wonderful people" that gave you all the problems the country now faces, are abandoning ship in droves.

    April 24, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Independant Jack

    As long as the tea party of hate has any involvment or the extreme right wing hate groups I will never vote repub.They have proven time and time again that they favor only extreme views of what to do with the middleclass and poor/women/seniors.Which basically accounts to nothing exept target them and take what little they have away.This is not made up you can see this through the one sided bills they propose.And every time The president tries to do anything to help they say no weather its a democrat idea or repeb one like the health care act which was origionally a repub idea.The repubs are no longer the honerable party they used to be and until they get rid of these hatefull people in their party i will encourage anyone to look at an alternative to the gop of hate and lies. Let me also say the gop in congress has filibustered bill after bill since day 1 of the obama presidencey so the arguement the dems once had full control is a failed arguement.Bottom line is if romney gets into office or more repubs in congress america will continue to decline and us middleclass will disapear forever.

    April 24, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. DanoRoo

    The sky is falling!!! Not only will Republicans keep the House, they will also take the Senate. 23 Dem seats up for grabs vs 10 Repub seats. The Repubs are projected to maintain 9 of the 10, while 14 of the Dem seats are considered toss ups. So, if just half of the 14 Dem seats go Repub there will be a Republican Senate.

    April 24, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. dantealexander

    1 in 3 chance that the GOP will get off their butts and try to help this country instead of spouting accusations of marxism

    April 24, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. asdf

    Very interesting. Very surprising.

    Well, since Commander of the Galactic Forces Rove is still in charge, they'll probably throw some ballot initiatives in there to scare up the vote. Gay marriage, abortion, drugs, etc.

    April 24, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. RWB1956

    Love how some are now saying the economic recovery is the Republican/Tea Party"s doing by doing nothing. Spin,baby,spin!

    April 24, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. asdf

    @idb :: It's laughable that a GOP supporter would decry one branch rendering another ineffective. The GOP ran the same playbook with only 41 people in the Senate in '09-'10 by filibustering everything until the Bush Tax Cuts were passed again. At least when the senate does it now, it's usually by a full vote.

    April 24, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Emery

    They'll lose much more than the House, at this rate...with the party practically imploding, Romney being as strong as a wet napkin in terms of candidacy, and Congress having the lowest approval rating in history following the 2010 Midterm Elections, I'd say that the GOP stands to lose MUCH more than just the House.

    April 24, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. MaryM

    The Party of NO has got to GO. The Repub/TP congressman unwillingness to compromise and do the work for the American People, NOT Grover Norquist, has proven they do not belong in the U.S. government. VOTE these obstructionist out of office ASAP

    April 24, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. ALPHA

    This article says, it is unusual for a top party official to say publicly that their party may loose an election? HUH?

    All politicians say that sort of thing from time to time to fire up the base, get the voters to come out. Even Dear leader is saying the same thing to inspire his followers.

    Another non-news article from CNN.

    April 24, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. mcskadittle

    if there is a one in three chance they keep the house then there is no chance they win the big seat

    April 24, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. cincinnati voter

    And he would be right! We've had enough! And you might be surprised how many Ohians
    will be all too ready to vote democrat. We are disappointed in Kasich and many others, including
    Boehner who has done nothing but argue with anyone who doesn't blindly agree with him.
    Sherrod Brown has a lot of support here and so does Obama.

    April 24, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. Anonymous010

    The fact that Boehner has even said there's a chance they'll lose the House is big. I think it points to a realization that their strategy of trying to tank the country to bring Obama down might have backfired on them. I certainly hope that is the case, anyway. I also hope that the Democrats have learned their lesson from their defeat and loss of the House a few years ago. I hope that they understand that they need to be more aggressive with the Republicans about getting things done, but I also hope that they realize that if they get the House back, it doesn't mean they have carte blanche to be as liberal as they want.

    When it comes right down to it, I think most Americans want a balance in political policy. We don't want to be too liberal or too conservative. Any party whose ideaology starts to stray too far from the center will and should be voted out. That's probably part of the reason that Boehner is afraid of losing the House – he realizes that they've spent too much time catering only to the far right and the super-rich and thus have become unpopular with more Americans. Right now it seems to me that the Democratic party is the one closer to the center.

    April 24, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. NameNorm

    It is strange how Rebublicans like to blame there incompetence on everyone else. George W. Bush drove this country in the ground and President Obama has a massive problem just trying to deal with Republicants. When is America going to wake up to Republicants are ineffective.

    April 24, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. GOP ESP

    In my house their is a 3 in 3 chance the GOP will lose the house. What are these knuckleheads thinking? All they have been doing is expousing political rhetoric and GOP ideology but little real work. These problems are not going to fix themselves. Get in there and do something. Come up with real world plans. Re-attach to reality.

    April 24, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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