House GOP Bullish for 2014 Despite Democrats’ Fundraising Edge

'We will pick up seats,' campaign chief says

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The head of the House Republicans’ campaign arm boasted Thursday that the GOP will strengthen Speaker John Boehner’s grip on the gavel in the coming midterm elections.

“We will pick up seats,” Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, said at the House GOP’s retreat in Cambridge, Md. “I can tell you the NRCC will report numbers that show we are in the best cash position at the end of an off year in the history of the NRCC.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the NRCC’s counterpart, announced a record-breaking off-year fundraising haul Thursday, bringing in over $75 million in 2013, $18 million more than at this point than in 2011. As of November, the DCCC had a $8-million advantage over the NRCC in cash on hand. The NRCC is expected to announce its latest fundraising figures Friday.

Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats to recapture the House majority.

Walden said that despite the Democrats’ cash advantage, he would “much rather be us than them,” given the troubled rollout of the new health care reform law and President Barack Obama’s middling approval ratings. Walden left open the question of what his party will do on the issue of immigration reform, something Republicans are expected to address later in the retreat, nor did he tip leadership’s hand on issues like the debt ceiling, energy and trade.

“If we’re just seen as the opposition party… we miss a great opportunity to woo voters to actually woo voters over to our side, because frankly we have really good alternatives,” Walden said. “We’re developing and fleshing those out here.”