After months of trying to ignore the obvious reality that Democrats will likely lose control of the House this fall, the White House has decided on a new strategy. They are pressing the "panic button" and hoping to motivate their base to turn out. The RCP average has Republicans up by 2.9 points on a generic congressional ballot. Based on analysis of past elections, this will most likely translate into a 50+ House seat lose for Democrats. Democrats now hold a 255-178 edge in the House. There are two open seats. Republicans would need a 40 seat swing to guarantee control of the House switches to the GOP.
The Washington Examiner reported:
"I think I did what is maybe uncommon in this town," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. "I opened my mouth and stated the obvious."
Gibbs over the weekend publicly acknowledged for the first time that Republicans could win control of the House.
It was not a far-fetched conclusion. A new Gallup poll found 38 percent of Republicans very enthusiastic about the midterm elections, compared to 25 percent of Democrats.
The pollsters also found the parties statistically tied heading into November, and noted that Democrats are unlikely to gain a substantial lead in the meantime.
That means for the White House, hitting the panic button for Democratic voters is now just as important as crafting an appealing message.