David Wasserman, editor in charge of House elections for the Cook Political Report, predicted at today’s Panhandle Tiger Bay luncheon that Republicans are likely to win control of the U.S. Senate in the 2014 elections and widen their control of the House of Representatives.
He said that the Democrats have seven seats that will be difficult to keep and three more that are vulnerable during the mid-term elections next year. The Republicans need six more Senate seats to win the majority. The key will be Republicans nominating better candidates than they did in 2012.
In the House, Wasserman expects the Republicans to pick up a net of 10 seats. He sees five GOP seats as targets and 18 Democratic seats that are targets for 2014.
He said that historically the party that controls the White House loses during the mid-term of the president’s second term an average of six Senate seats and 29 House seats.
Wasserman divided the 2016 GOP Presidential contenders into three categories:
Can Win: NJ Gov. Chris Christie, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida’s junior U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Can’t Win: Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky) and former Sen. Rick Santorium (Pa.)
Maybe: Wis. Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis) and Sen. John Thune (SD)
On the Democratic side in 2016, Wasserman believes its all about whether former Sec. of State Hilary Clinton decides to run. He said that there is a lot of “new blood” in the party ready to make a run for president.