House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy likes the GOP’s chances of taking back the gavel from Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2020, based on the districts in play.
The California congressman told Fox News on Monday the Republicans’ path to the majority in the House is easier than the Democrats’ was in 2018.
“Thirty-one Democrats sit in seats that President [Donald] Trump carried [in 2016],” he said on “America’s Newsroom.” “We only have to win 19. Democrats had to win 23 in the last cycle.
“We have fewer seats to gain with a bigger playing field to go.”
Watch McCarthy’s comments on the 2020 election starting at 4:20 below.
One of the races the minority leader highlighted as a possible GOP pickup is Texas’ 7th Congressional District in the Houston metropolitan area.
Republicans held the seat for decades prior to it flipping to Democratic Rep. Lizzie Fletcher in 2018.
“Look at Wesley Hunt down in Houston, running for Congress,” McCarthy said. “A West Point graduate, flew Apaches. They just did a recent poll. He’s ahead in the poll running against the incumbent.”
The poll, which was paid for by the GOP Congressional Leadership Fund PAC, showed Hunt leading Fletcher 45 to 43 percent.
Breaking: A new poll released this morning shows me leading Lizzie Fletcher??? https://t.co/jO1DQdCuSi
— Wesley Hunt (@WesleyHuntTX) September 5, 2019
The Republicans also are hoping to take back Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, bordering Chicago.
The seat had been in GOP hands for several terms and went for Trump in 2016 before flipping to Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood in 2018.
Last month, Catalina Lauf, a 26-year-old former Trump administration official, announced her candidacy.
If the Latina Republican prevails in the primary and the general election, she would become the youngest women elected to Congress, surpassing the benchmark set by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in 2018.
Some may say I don’t fit the mold, but I’m a product of the American Dream. Today we see that Dream under attack from the divisive far-left. I’m running for Congress to defend the promise of the American Dream. Join me today ➡️ https://t.co/Gwp1E58Kwg
— Catalina Lauf (@CatalinaLauf) August 22, 2019
The Cook Political Report currently rates Hunt’s race in the Texas 7th as “leans Democrat,” while the Illinois 14th contest is labeled a “toss-up.”
Overall, Cook sees 217 seats as either “solid” or “likely/lean” Democrat, while the GOP’s tally is 193 for the same. However, 18 seats currently held by Democrats are rated as “toss-up or worse,” while only six held by Republicans are.
Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked McCarthy whether GOP retirement announcements — 15 this election cycle so far, including five in the Lone Star State — threaten the Republicans’ chances of retaking the House in 2020.
“It is sad when someone wants to depart,” McCarthy responded. “I was very sad when Ted Poe departed in the last Congress. But who followed him? Dan Crenshaw.”
He added: “We have a transformation that’s happening in the Republican Party with new blood coming in that’s only going to make the team stronger, and I know that’s what’s going to carry us to the new majority.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.