NEW ORLEANS – A top House Republican campaigner says his party is set to gain more seats than it won in the 1994 election.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) told the Ballot Box that he has pegged the GOP gains in this year’s election at 56 seats, which would be more than the 54 it won in its landslide election 16 years ago. It would also be more than enough to regain the majority the party lost in 2006 (which requires a 40-seat gain).

“I’ve got us at 56 seats right now,” said Price, who is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee and also co-chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) candidate mentoring program. “And I think it’s only going to rise, because of the policies that this administration has put in place and the activities of the speaker.”

Price added that Republicans are now competitive in more than 100 districts – 104, to be exact.

Republicans like top NRCC recruiter Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have said before that Republicans will be competitive in nearly 100 districts, but party officials are generally loath to put specific numbers on expected gains or losses.

Price qualified his prediction by saying “I’m the most optimistic guy in the room.”