The race for control of the House in 2012 will likely end in a photo finish, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) predicted.
In an interview airing Friday night on Bloomberg TV, Israel said there was a feasible path for Democrats to flip the 25 seats they need to take back the majority from Republicans, but only if they simultaneously protect their incumbents.
"I’m not saying we’re going to win 25 seats. It’ll be razor close," Israel said.
Despite Republican claims that a high number of Democratic retirements will create an even steeper incline for Democrats, Israel said math is on their side. He noted that Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats and almost 20 of those districts voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in both 2004 and 2008.
Israel downplayed speculation that President Obama could drag down Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2012, saying it paled in comparison to the drag Republicans would see from what he called their radioactive poll numbers.
"There is a certain reality here that the president’s numbers are challenged in certain areas," he said. "But House Republican numbers are about half of where the president is."