House Speaker John Boehner sounded downright pessimistic on his party’s odds in New York during a Fox News interview earlier today, The Hill reports.
“I believe that we will, but we’ve got a real challenge,” Mr. Boehner said when asked about Republican chances of holding onto their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I would say that there is a 2-in-3 chance that we win control of the House again but there’s a 1-in-3 chance that we could lose.”
“We have 50 of our members in tough races, 89 freshmen running for their first reelections and we have 32 districts that are in states where there is no presidential campaign going to be run, no big Senate race and we call these orphan districts,” he continued. “You take 18 of them, California, Illinois and New York, where you know we’re not likely to do well at the top of the ticket and those districts are frankly pretty vulnerable.”
He didn’t provide specifics, but it’s not hard to identify some of the seats that will be the toughest holds in New York, at least. For example, Capitol Region Congressman Chris Gibson saw his district become significantly more Democratic during the redistricting process and Syracuse Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle is facing a strong rematch against former Rep. Dan Maffei.
On other hand, Mr. Boehner’s public pessimism does make some political sense as he seeks to avoid complacency among donors and grassroots activists and the campaign season unfolds.
And, of course, Democrats have some tough holds themselves in New York, including four or five seats with strong Republican challengers after redistricting shook things up across the board.
The interview will air tomorrow.