Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House
April 23rd, 2012
08:07 PM ET
6 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. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Based on how much money the DNC is raking in in small donations I'd say that the odds are definitely against you Boo-Hoo. People want to give both the Senate AND the House to President Obama. Call it a re-election present if you will. Call it what you want, but the chances that your boys are going to hit the bricks come November are much higher than the ratio you purport.

    April 24, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Tanker-A

    I think it's more like a 3 in 1 chance. After all, four thirds of repuIicans have trouble with fractions.

    April 24, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. XAT

    Getting honest talk in Washington and CNN is far too difficult...Washington specializes in lip service, and CNN "Political Analysts" specialize in 100% spin.... depressing

    April 24, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. barb

    hard to believe the do nothing repubs would be in fear of losing the majority in the congress especially since their #1 priority was making sure Obma is a one term president.......they don't care about the country being hungry and homeless. what really is scarey is if they get a majority in the senate we will be at war with Iran within a year repubs are war mongers!

    April 24, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. keeth

    Who's Frank?

    April 24, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Phil muse

    Boehner has reason to be worried. From Day 1 of the Obama administration, the Repubs have been the Party of "No," consistently oppositing encouragement from the Dems to engage in bipartisan legislation for the good of the whole country. Whenever Obama has held out his hand to them, they've spat on it! Now, what do they deserve from the American public in November? Anything less than annihilation at the polls should be considered merciful.

    April 24, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Publius Novus

    If Boehner says it's 1-in-3, then it is probably 1-in-2 or 2-in-3. The man has difficulty with the truth thing. Probably caused by excessive tanning.

    April 24, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. twmcn

    Maybe we can have Cantor – you know the "real" leader of the Republicans!
    Hope the people of Virginia wise up!

    April 24, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. lies from the right but mostly hate

    Let's have a 3 in 3 chance boehner,mcconnel, ryan and cantor leave politics

    April 24, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. ThinkAgain

    "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."

    Lord, I hope so! We need Democrats in there who have a proven track record of moving our country forward (historically, our country also does better economically under Democratic administrations than Republican ones, too).

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 24, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Muldoon in Ohio

    WHAT !!?? Is there a 3rd political party in the country I don't know about that could take 1/3 of the House Votes? In my opinion, there is a 1 in 2 chance the repubs will lose the House.

    April 24, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Eagle Eye

    John Bohner is at fault because he's the leader of the Republician party and Speaker. He has shown weakness and shown that he can't get nothing done. In 2010 the Republicians were given a second chance to do what they said there were going to do. But nothing came about. That't because John Bohner showed no back bone when bargaining with Obama. For someone who wanted to be Speaker of the House and took over with a majority he still couldn't get things done. So now he's saying the Republicoian have a 1in 3 chance in taking over control of the house. This tells me he's given up. To me this is a defeatist attitude. What John Bohner is saying "We've Lost". If the Republician lose the majority it can be blamed on John Bohner. If the Republician do matain the majority in the house John Bohner should be replaced as Speaker of the House and get someone who isn't affraid to bargain and get thing done.

    April 24, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. JC in SC

    brian in DC: And you think that the Rep strategy of annihilating the middle class is a good one? Reid might be "sitting on" the legislation sent from the House because it's bad. Duh. Have you read Paul Ryan's budget? It's like you people are out to bring down this democracy regardless. And your man George started it.

    April 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. steven harnack

    If we had an intelligent voting public there wouldn't be ANY Republicans in Congress OR the Senate. Four years ago they actually stated that their only priority was to cause the downfall of the President of the United States. They should be listed as a terrorist organization.

    April 24, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. brian in denver

    "Alarm bells are sounding..." As well they should. It's starting to look like a Democratic landslide come Nov.

    April 24, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    @Ray E. (Georgia): "Realise the "Wonderful people" that gave you all the problems the country now faces, are abandoning ship in droves."

    Are you from Canada or Great Britain – because "realise" is how they spell "realize".

    Anyway, the challenges currently faced by the US are a direct result of failed Republican economic, military and foreign policies.

    The Democrats have been cleaning up the mess – and succeeding, in spite of all the efforts to obstruct on the part of the Repubs.

    Here's the real choice: If you want to return to failed policies (trickle-down economics, tax cuts for the rich, going to war on lies, etc.), vote Republican.

    If you want to continue moving forward with the economic recovery, investing in OUR country (education, basic scientific research, true energy independence, and infrastructure), vote for the Democratic Party.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. William Ricard

    I really don't give a crap about who wins what seats. Will somebody in Washington please do something

    April 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. JC in SC

    DanoRoo: If your prediction is correct, then yes, the sky will fall. I'm moving to Russia. It's more democratic.

    April 24, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. realitybites

    i'd say he being a bit CONSERVATIVE ( BA DU BUM!)

    April 24, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. ART

    Yes just like Mitt romney the American people enjoy firing people who do not do the job they were hired to do. This is the alarm bell Rethuglicans in congress you're FIRED!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. don

    John Boehner(aka Ted Baxter!) is in over his head. The Bidnessmen in GOP have been successful by making back room deals and operating black-box businesses.
    They can not withstand the transparency of modern government service.

    April 24, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. NameSteamr

    More like a 3-in-1 chance the Rethuglicans will regain the house! People have LONG memories of how the Tea Party TRAITORS did everything possible to obstruct anything that benefited any but the upper 1% & thhen try to blame it all on the President. OBAMA 2012!!!

    April 24, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. Whats Going on?

    Hopefully Americans will reject extremist ideas from the right. People in Alberta, a Canadian province, just handed the incumbent Conservative government another term after the extreme right party Wildrose had two candidates express opinions very similar to Tea Party point of view and the liberitarian party leader defended the candidates. GOP and Tea Party are BAD NEWS for Americans!

    April 24, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Floridavoter

    Boehner is just trying to rile the voters. I'm a Democrat, and I see from the polls that the Republicans are still in a strong position in congress. Watch them lose seats but keep the house this year, and maybe pick up a few in the senate.

    April 24, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. GaryB

    The problem for Boehner is that he hasn't been able to get the Tea Party Republicans to do anything cnstructive or even remotely realistic. With the exception of the recent Quinnipac poll, most polls show Americans placing more blame for the slow pace of economic recovery on congress than the president. It's quite possible that 2012 will be another "throw the bums out" year like 2010, only this time, the Republicans in the house have more seats to lose.

    April 24, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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