The top Democrat in the Missouri House has made a bold prediction: Democrats will take back the majority in the House this year.
Rep. Paul LeVota (D-Independence) foresees a great election year for Democrats and says he has the numbers to back him up. LeVota believes Democrats can pick up 13 seats, which would give them the majority in the 163-seat chamber. He says the numbers favor Democrats. Only seven incumbent Democrats have Republican opponents so far; only one in what Democrats consider a vulnerable seat. In contrast, Democrats have fielded opponents against 34 Republican incumbents.
"It shows that our recruiting is smart," LeVota told a Democratic gathering recently. "It shows that the people of the state are ready for change."
LeVota tells the Missourinet he is counting on 2008 being a strong Democratic year, from president on down, "Coattails will be strong in 2008, because people are ready for change."
LeVota understands that with filing still open, more Republicans might file against incumbent Democrats. He says, though, that the fact that Democrats have filed early bodes well for the party.
There are currently 91 Republicans and 70 Democrats in the House with two vacancies. Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 48 years in 2002, picking up 15 seats, turning an 88-to-75 Democratic majority into a 90-to-73 Republican majority. Democrats made their first gains since then the last election cycle. In 2002, Democrats picked up five seats in the House.