NRCC chair Tom Emmer: Republicans confident they can flip 17 seats to retake House

National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Emmer believes Republicans have a very good chance to retake the House of Representatives in November.

The House is currently controlled by the Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). But 54 seats are currently vulnerable to being flipped and the party only needs 17 to gain the majority, he told Breitbart News on Saturday.

“So we have targeted 54 seats,” Emmer said. “The top 30 Donald Trump won in 2016. The top 13 of those, Trump won by six points or more. These are Republican seats.”

A special election has already flipped one seat — a California one that has not been held by a Republican in over a decade — and Emmer said other races plan to emulate the strategy used in this one.

“We have 43 Democrats currently sitting in seats that are better for Republican candidates than that seat in the California suburbs and we only need 17 to win, so you pick those top 30 and then you’ve got the next 24, of which the vast majority are seats that Hillary Clinton won by the slimmest of margins back in 2016,” Emmer said.

Optimistic outlook

“Keep in mind, in 2018, in the fall, two things. One, we got outspent heavily,” Emmer said. “Yet we only lost our majority, with 115 million turning out, only lost our majority by 106,000 votes, Matt.”

“To put it in perspective, there were 8.5 million [President Donald] Trump voters that showed up in 2016 that did not show up in 2018 and I can tell you they’re showing up this fall,” Emmer continued. “I think you’re gonna get all the 8.5 plus more. It’s gonna make a huge difference. I can feel it.”

Emmer also stressed that candidate recruitment has been exceptionally strong for 2020, which will add to the advantage for Republicans.

“You’ve gotta win with great candidates,” Emmer said. “We have a record number of women, after the primary in New York on Tuesday, I think we will have the record number of Republican women on the general ballot in all-time history. We have a record number of minority candidates.”

Polling accuracy unclear

The Real Clear Politics average of polls for Tuesday shows Democrat presumptive nominee Joe Biden 12 points ahead of Trump, but the Trump campaign and others have said these numbers don’t reflect a reality in which many Trump supporters are no longer responding to polls, leaving results skewed.

Polls also showed Hillary Clinton way ahead at this point in 2016, and we know how that turned out. Biden is an even weaker candidate than Clinton in some ways, not in likeability, but because the public already thinks Biden is in at least the early stages of dementia, as seen in a recent survey. Polls also show that Americans feel more confident in Trump’s ability to lead the economic recovery after the coronavirus lockdowns than in Biden’s.

Undoubtedly, poll numbers will narrow as they always do just before the election. Turnout on both sides is expected to be high. However, if Democrat voters continue to be cowed by fear of the coronavirus, it may hurt turnout enough to make things a lot less close than they otherwise would be.

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