House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said during a press conference on Friday that he still believes Republicans have the “opportunity” to win the House majority during the 2020 congressional elections.
One reporter asked McCarthy about recent negative polling for Republicans, which includes the Cook Political Report’s downgrade of many competitive congressional seats in favor of Democrats:
New at @CookPolitical: House rating changes in 20 districts, all towards Democrats. I can’t recall the last time we moved so many races at once, let alone in the same direction. pic.twitter.com/Bb9UCO1Jm7
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) July 17, 2020
McCarthy noted that there remains significant momentum for Republicans, such as former NFL Superbowl champion Burgess Owens’ bid for Utah’s Fourth Congressional District against freshman Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT).
“There’s also a poll that shows Burgess Owens leading by nine points already in Salt Lake City,” McCarthy said, citing a poll conducted on behalf of the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF).
“These will continue to move forward at the same time you read that report.”
The House GOP leader also said that Maria Salazar outraised Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.
“There are reports of Maria Salazar for the same quarter has outraised Donna Shalala in a very Democrat seat,” McCarthy said.
Republicans also have momentum in other battleground congressional districts.
Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden outraised Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District by more than double.
A recent poll found that conservative Yvette Herrell is in a dead heat with Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) in New Mexico’s Second Congressional District.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), a swing district Democrat, recently told Politico that the “smart person’s money” would bet that a Republican would beat her in November.
McCarthy also said that Republicans had won upsets against Democrats with special elections, such as Mike Garcia’s victory against California Assemblywoman Christy Smith in California’s 25th Congressional District.
He added that Garcia’s victory was the “first time in 22 years that Republicans had flipped that seat.”
“So if you want any indication of how things are going forward, that’s the best indication,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said that Republicans only need to regain a net 17 seats to regain the House majority. McCarthy has told Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle that there are 30 congressional districts that President Donald Trump won during the 2016 presidential election but that House Democrats managed to flip during the 2018 midterm elections. Trump won 13 of those 30 congressional districts by more than six percent, meaning that a Trump victory in 2020 could help Republicans retake the House.
“Republicans now have more seats than they had before at the start of this [congressional term],” McCarthy said. “We only need 17 seats to win the majority, and Democrats have fewer members than they did when they started this out. So, yeah, it’s going to be competitive, but I still believe that we have the opportunity to win the majority, and we’ll see that in November.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.