Rep. Walden asks colleagues for support to be NRCC chairman

Walden and Sessions helped the GOP capture House control with a historic wave in 2010. The NRCC slightly underperformed expectations in losing approximately eight seats in 2012, though it defended most of their freshmen during an election where Democrats won the popular vote for Congress. Walden was candid about both facts in the letter.

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"Last week — due to your hard work and the leadership of Chairman Pete Sessions and our team at the NRCC — we locked into place most of the historic gains we made in the House in 2010. But we also came up short in some key races and have important lessons to learn from our losses as we go forward into 2014. We also have some solid opportunities to pick up seats and we must get started right away to do so," he writes.

While it's still very early, it appears that 2014 might be a less chaotic battle for the House than in past years. While 2012 saw little net turnover, numerous incumbents were defeated or retired, setting up tough open-seat races. That followed three successive wave elections in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

In 2014, that's expected to change: Redistricting made far fewer seats competitive as it shored up GOP gains in many states. A number of tough races in which incumbents of both parties lost are unlikely to be contested next time around, shrinking the competitive House map considerably.