Van Hollen: GOP 'high on their own hype' ahead of midterms


"This idea that they're going to be popping the champagne corks prematurely and measuring the drapes is clearly -- they're high on their own hype," he added.

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Republicans have been more and more openly optimistic about their prospects in this fall's midterm elections, where they would have to win 41 seats in order to take back the House from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democrats.

That kind of pickup is seen as a tall order for an opposition party no matter what the circumstances are, but groups like the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, for instance, are projecting a 27-seat pickup for Republicans if the elections were held today.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who declined entreaties to run for the Senate this fall in part out of optimism for Republicans' efforts this fall, confidently predicted the GOP would take the House.

Pence said that Tea Party activists would be an integral part of the GOP's election efforts, too, if the party sticks to a limited government message.

"I think if we hold the banner of limited government high...you bet, they'll know what to do this fall," Pence said of the Tea Partiers. "And Republicans will back the majority of the House this fall."