What Would It Take for Dems to Retake the House?

by Gloria Feldt on September 17th, 2012
in Leadership, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power, Women & Politics and tagged , , , , ,

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on CNN yesterday morning that Democrats have a “very excellent chance” of taking back the House in November – pointing to Mitt Romney’s selection of running mate Paul Ryan as a “pivotal” moment in the campaign.

The Democrats need to pick up 25 seats to win back the majority.

Politico’s arena asked: “Does it seem likely that the Democrats could retake the House?  With a 10 percent congressional approval rating, are Americans even paying attention to House races?”

Here’s my take:

Pelosi’s dream of reclaiming the House could become Boehner’s nightmare. That’s not likely despite Mitt Romney’s fumbling campaign and various Republican candidates’ implosions on social issues, because voters tend to stick with the devils they know and vote for incumbents in the end. But it is possible that the Democrat’s could retake the House if:

  • women vote in proportion to their anger over assaults on their economic and reproductive rights and health,
  • progressive women go to the polls in proportions that match their 1992 “Year of the Woman” turnout,
  • attempts to suppress minority and women voters do not succeed,
  • Obama’s coattails are strong enough to reel in a few additional House seats for his party.

Those are big if’s. I predict Democrats have a better chance of winning a few additional seats in the Senate than taking over the House.

Thoughts? What are you seeing in the House districts where you live?

Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

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