Boehner: Republicans have '50/50' shot at keeping House

Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerZeal, this time from the center Juan Williams: The GOP's deal with the devil Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE (R-Ohio) says Republicans have an even chance of holding their House majority in 2018. 

"Frankly, it's a 50/50 proposition," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerZeal, this time from the center Juan Williams: The GOP's deal with the devil Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE told NBC's "Today" on Friday, according to Politico. “Once you have a change of presidents, the party out of power always gains seats. It has gone on for well over 100 years.”

Many Republicans are fearing a "blue wave" in the midterm elections fueled by Democratic enthusiasm and opposition to President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE.

However, Boehner stressed that Republicans' prospects for 2018 would not be dimmed by the retirement this week of Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Mark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump NY Post blasts Trump, GOP over separating families at border MORE (R-Wis.), a decision some see as a likely blow to the party's campaigning and fundraising efforts. 

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"I believe that because I know Paul Ryan," Boehner explained. "He never wanted to be Speaker. I had to beat him to death to take my job. Tax reform was his issue, and he spent all of his political career working on tax reform. When it was finished, I pretty well knew that he would probably move on."

Boehner, who retired in 2015, was chosen as Speaker in 2010 after Republicans won big in their own "wave election," fueled by a backlash against President Obama.

In 2018, Democrats must win at least 24 seats to regain House control. Several unexpected wins in battleground congressional districts this year have given them hope that they could reach that total or even exceed it in November.