The HillTube

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

DCCC chairman: GOP in for 'holy war' primaries

ADVERTISEMENT
"We will have a handful of primaries on our side of the aisle, Greg and his party have a holy war on their side of the aisle, largely as a result of redistricting," he said on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown."

Israel appeared alongside his Republican counterpart, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who pushed back on Israel's charge, chuckling and adding "I don't know if I would go that far."

He noted, however, that "this is not unique to either party. This is something we all face."

Democrats and Republicans are likely to face fierce primaries going into 2014, but Republicans have, in previous years, lost winnable races — more so at the Senate than the House level — because of contentious primary fights that left the party with weak candidates for the general.

Israel charged that redistricting has also pushed the House Republican caucus to the right overall, causing "inherent chaos and instability."
 
"The unintended consequence of redistricting is it is true that many of their districts king of nudge to the right. So you have Republican incumbents who wake up every morning not thinking about a general election, but in absolute paralyzed fear of a primary from their right," he said. "It is what explains the inherent chaos and instability of House Republicans on the floor."

Democrats, however, still face an uphill battle in their pursuit of taking back the House, as redistricting solidified the partisan makeup of many districts and cut down on the number of competitive swing districts nationwide.

Though Israel had previously been quoted as saying the party was having some trouble recruiting for competitive House races because many prospective candidates wanted to wait until 2016, when they felt their chances would be better with a strong Democrat at the top of the ticket, he insisted Democrats are well-poised for their 2014 House fight.

"On recruiting, we are way ahead of our game. We need 17 seats to pick up the House, we'll have 52 in play. Of our top 15 districts ... we've got 15 recruits in place," he said.