The National Republican Congressional Committee has added five House Republicans to its "Patriot Program," an incumbent protection system designed to shore up vulnerable members.
New York Reps. Ann Marie Buerkle, Chris Gibson and Nan Hayworth have been enlisted in the program. All three are facing tough reelections in districts made more competitive by redistricting.
Also on the list are Reps. Chris Cravaack (R-Minn.) and Reid Ribble (R-Wis.).
“An ironclad campaign spells defeat for Democrats vying to return Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, and I applaud the Patriot members for taking on the challenge of controlling the competitiveness of their races through the strength of their own campaigns," said NRCC Deputy Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.).
Republicans would have to lose about 25 seats in the House for Democrats to reclaim the majority in November, but Republicans aren't taking any chances. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in an interview airing Tuesday on Fox News that Democrats have a 1-in-3 chance of ousting the GOP majority.
"We've got a big challenge, and we've got work to do," Boehner said.