With Democratic hopes of taking back the House this cycle waning, one of the party’s candidates facing a tough race is panning the party’s chances.
“Not this year,” she said. “It’s not going this year. So you all shouldn’t write about that because that’s not happening.”
Sink’s comments aren’t necessarily out of the mainstream — Democrats privately admit picking up the 17 seats they’d need to take back the House, during a midterm year, is a tall order.
A spate of recent retirements have made some districts more competitive for Democrats, but they’ve also possibly delivered at least two to Republicans. And the National Republican Congressional Committee just released polling to The Washington Post showing, they say, that the GOP can expand their map of competitive districts based on the unpopularity of the president’s healthcare law.
Still, it’s unusual for a Democrat to say outright that the party can’t take back the lower chamber, especially with 10 months of the campaign cycle still unwritten. The position appears to have put her at odds with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which pushed back against the comments.
“It’s too early to make predictions, but one thing we do know is that House Republicans are at toxically low approval ratings as voters are rejecting their anti-middle class agenda,” said DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Katie Prill said the comments indicated Sink's aware of the tough battle she faces in her own race.
"It seems that Alex Sink sees the writing on the wall and realizes that ObamaCare is going hinder her chances of going to Congress," she said.
Sink is facing a tough race against lobbyist David Jolly for Young's seat. The district became more competitive for Democrats with Young's passing but isn't a slam-dunk for either party. The race has attracted more than $4 million in spending from outside groups, a number that's expected to grow in the remaining month of the campaign.
Republicans have hammered Sink on ObamaCare and her assertion that Democrats won't take back the House might have been an attempt to insulate herself from attacks that she'll be a partisan shill for the Democratic Party on the healthcare law and other issues.
She's also seeking to go on offense on the law in a new ad, which charges Jolly "would go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage."
"We can't go back to letting insurance companies do whatever they want," Sink says in the ad. "Instead of repealing the health care law we need to keep what’s right and fix what’s wrong."