House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) not only believes his caucus will keep its majority in the next Congress, but told Politico yesterday he expects the Republican House majority to last a decade.
Is it because GOP officials will impress voters and earn the public’s trust? No, according to Boehner, it’s because his party has been effective in rigging the game.
Boehner dismissed Democratic claims that House control is up for grabs and argued that the once-in-a-decade redistricting process has made the GOP’s hold on the majority ironclad.
Redistricting “gives us a very strong foundation for the decade,” Boehner said.
“I think it will be nearly impossible” for Democrats to win back the House in November, Boehner said. “I think our freshman members are doing a good job preparing themselves for the upcoming election. I would also note that redistricting across the country has helped those freshman members and others in tough seats who will now have better seats. So I think we’re in pretty strong shape for the year ahead.”
So, according to the House Speaker, Republicans won’t win because of their accomplishments; they’ll win in large part because other Republicans have drawn congressional boundaries in such a way as to guarantee success — whether GOP lawmakers do an awful job in Washington or not.
That ought to inspire confidence in our democracy, right?
For the record, Boehner’s confidence may well be misplaced. If Democrats pick up 25 seats in November, Boehner will have to hand his Speaker’s gavel back to Nancy Pelosi. Given that Congress’ approval rating has reached depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling, it’s not unreasonable to think we’ll see some electoral volatility later this year.
For that matter, several recent polls show Democrats doing quite well on the congressional generic ballot, including a National Journal poll released yesterday that showed Dems with an 11-point lead on which party Americans want to see in control of the House.
And while we’re at it, both the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee believe a Dem majority is in reach this year.
It’s something Boehner may want to keep in mind.