A Democratic lawmaker said Wednesday that there was a "high probability" that Republicans retake control of the House on Nov. 2.
Rep. Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat who's facing his own tough reelection battle, conceded what few other members of his party have to date: that the party could easily lose a net 39 or more seats next week, and hand control of the chamber to the GOP.
“I do think there is a high probability right now that Republicans take control of the House,” Himes told a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon, according to the Danbury News-Times.
Virtually no elected Democrat has been willing to publicly say that the party could find itself in the House minority come next January. Democrats are hoping to keep their supporters motivated to make their way to the polls on Election Day, and a growing sense that Republicans' victories are inevitable could depress turnout.
"Well, I'm confident the Democrats are going to retain their majority because the American people are connecting the dots between these tens of millions of dollars of secret special interest money," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the head of House Democrats' campaign efforts, said as recently as Sunday.
Himes is one of the lawmakers Van Hollen will look to on Tuesday to prevail in his race, if Democrats are to have a chance to stave off a Republican wave.
Himes, a first-term lawmaker who unseated veteran centrist GOP Rep. Chris Shays in 2008, faces a challenge this cycle from Dan Debicella. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a "lean Democratic" contest, but Republican headwinds on Nov. 2 could propel Debicella to victory.