NRCC Chairman: ‘Easily 95 to 100′ House Seats in Play

By Maya

Oct 21, 2010 1:41pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Republican leaders say they are continuing to see the map of competitive races expand in the final days of the race, with even long-time incumbents like Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., among Democrats who are facing unexpectedly tough challenges. On ABC’s “Top Line” today, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Pete Sessions, said his party’s candidates are already “well ahead” in the “low 40s” of seats – more than enough to take over the majority. He said another 60 or so seats will be toss-ups right through Election Day. “Within the margin of error, I would say there are easily 95 to 100 seats,” Sessions, R-Texas, told us live from Dallas today. “The competitive seats that are in there where Republicans are ahead are already in the low 40s — where we think Republicans are well ahead and based upon the turnout and what happens on the day of the Election we will go ahead and win. “Those other 60 seats will be within the margin of error all the way up until Election Day, and turnout will decide that. I think Republicans can win back the majority, but it's going to take the American people wanting to change what is happening in Washington. And I think we can do that.” ABC News’ political unit currently lists 125 of the 435 House seats as potentially in play, including 45 pure toss-up races. The Democratic losses will include some big names, Sessions said. “I think what you're seeing is Democrats, in particular Democrat chairman, who are being held accountable for the direction that they're taking this country — big taxing, big spending,” he said. “Barney Frank, obviously, is at the center of what occurred, not only financially, but his answer is about more big government, more spending, and Barney cannot get enough of the Nancy Pelosi agenda. And so they're being held accountable for it. It has nothing to do with being incumbents. It has everything to do with the hard work they've accomplished on the behalf of problems that we have where we have not only a spending problems, but an employment problem in this country.” Sessions also responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s contention, in an interview with Charlie Rose last night, that “I would rather be in our position right now than theirs.” "If she's proud of her hand, I would sooner be us," Sessions responded Thursday. “[The] Republican Party recognizes we've got to read the bills, we've got to balance the budget, and we've got to bring back the 3 million jobs that have been lost. So I think that’s the hand Republicans are going to play with. I think the American people see what it is to have some balance as we approach the president and bring back jobs.” Republicans will be focused on trying “to slow things down” in Washington – as voters say they want, Sessions said. “I think the mandate that they're giving us is very clear and that's stop the direction that you’re headed — the taxing and spending, the not listening to the American public,” Sessions said. “First of all what we will do is stop the agenda, the Nancy Pelosi/Barack Obama agenda that is cap-and-trade, card-check, and health care.” We also featured Jonathan Karl’s latest interview with Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, where she says that her “I’m not a witch” ad was probably a mistake – and reveals her Halloween costume.

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