Several leading Democrats from Joe Biden to Nancy Pelosi have predicted their party will win back the U.S. House this fall.
Mathematically speaking, Democrats would have to pick up more than two dozen seats for that to happen.
Impossible? No. But likely? That’s a different story.
Both parties know the battle will come down to toss up races. But this is a general election cycle which means congressional candidates will appear on the same ballot as the presidential nominees – and that may play a key factor in the composition of the next Congress.
Perhaps no race illustrates this better than the race in Utah’s 4th District.
Jim Matheson is a six-term Democrat seeking re-election in a newly redrawn district. But the demographics, which skew Republican, favor his challenger, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love.
Mia Love describes herself as a Tea Party conservative. Her campaign has captured attention on both the local and national levels partly because she stands to make history if she unseats Matheson.
If successful, she would become the first African-American Republican woman elected to Congress. But Love says that’s not her priority.
“The only history I’m interested in making is getting our fiscal house in order,” Love told CBN News.
Matheson, to date, has outpaced Love in campaign contributions, but both parties plan to pour a lot of money into this race. Democrats want to hold Matheson’s seat while Republicans see a potential pick up.
The GOP views the conservative Democrat as extremely vulnerable. Not only is he running in a district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats, he has a formidable foe in Mia Love. Moreover, she’ll share a column on the ballot with the Republican nominee for president.
“Republicans think that with Romney at the top of the ticket there's a good chance there's going to be record turnout in Utah,” said Mark Meissner, professor at George Washington University’s School of Political Management. “And they think that would help out Mia Love a great deal."