WASHINGTON—The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee said Tuesday that the GOP is honing in on seven House Democratic seats that the majority party hopes to flip in this year’s midterm elections.
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., told reporters that these seven “red zone” seats spanning the country are fertile ground for Republican challengers, based on polling and previous presidential results in the districts. He highlighted Florida’s 13th district, where Democrat Alex Sink is fighting Republican David Jolly in a special election Tuesday, and West Virgina’s 3rd district, where Rep. Nick Rahall is down by 14 points according to a poll commissioned by the NRCC and his challenger, Republican State Senator Evan Jenkins, as particularly promising.
“From one end of the country to another, literally from San Diego to New Hampshire, Republicans have opportunities to win seats,” said Walden, who’s represented his Oregon’s district since 1999.
Walden said that while local issues are at the forefront of these red zone races, national matters may be enough to derail some Democratic reelection campaigns, pointing to the Affordable Care Act, the slow economic recovery and President Barack Obama’s alleged disregard for the Constitution.
“He treats the Constitution like an elementary school chalkboard that he can erase, ”with an “‘I, the president, not, ‘we, the people,’” approach, said Walden. “[Voters] worried about their paychecks, their wallets, their kids’ futures, their economy, where this thing is headed.”
Regarding Republican primaries, Walden insisted the NRCC wouldn’t interfere, saying meddling from Washington would only undermine the party’s main goal: find the strongest candidates to take back seats from the Democrats.
“We don’t get involved to try to tilt the playing field one way or another,” he said. “We will let the primaries play out, and I think that’s appropriate.”