WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Democrats can expect to gain between 20 and 30 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the upcoming national elections, analysts say.
The deep unpopularity of President George Bush, the financial crisis, a big edge in Democratic fundraising and mistakes made by Republican campaign strategists are adding to up to GOP House losses at least as big as those of 2006 when the party surrendered control of the chamber, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.
"For Republicans who thought the worst was over in 2006, it's about to get a whole lot worse," Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Report, told the newspaper.
"We've said all along no Republican should take their seat for granted this year," said Karen Hanretty, the National Republican Campaign Committee's communications director. "Republicans have never seen an environment like this."
A large number of retirements by GOP House members, many saying they were demoralized by their minority status, has left Republicans defending 29 open seats while Democrats have just six seats to guard. Democrats already sport a 36-seat advantage, and a landslide election next month could give them a longer-lasting majority than the GOP's 12-year rule, the newspaper said.