Republicans will win back a majority of seats in this fall's election, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) predicted 16 weeks before Election Day.
Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, said he expected his party to win enough seats in this November's midterm elections to take over control of the House next year.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Sunday said that
Republicans were within striking distance of taking over either the
House or Senate, if not both.
"I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall, but I think there's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control," Gibbs said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Cantor and other top Republicans have professed a sense of optimism about this fall's elections, in which they hope to make major inroads, including occasional predictions about a takeover of the House or Senate. But the leaders have been wary of pegging a number of seats they expect to win this fall, with the GOP needing to pick up 39.
The minority whip, who would probably become majority leader if Republicans take over the House, framed the elections as an opportunity to challenge the Obama administration on spending and other issues.
"When we regain the House — because I do think that we will retake the majority — the president will have to deal with us," Cantor said. "I mean, there is leverage now that the American people will have over the ability to stop spending, over telling the administration 'no' on a lot of these harmful policies to small business."