Hoyer: Trump or Cruz as GOP nom­i­nee is a chance for house Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By RE­BECCA RAINEY Cap­i­tal News Ser­vice

BOWIE — House Mi­nor­ity Whip Steny Hoyer (DMd., 5th) said Mon­day that ei­ther Don­ald Trump or Ted Cruz at the head of the GOP ticket could pro­duce a Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity in the House.

Hoyer, who is the sec­ond-most pow­er­ful Demo­crat in the House, said at a press round­table with col­lege re­porters that a Trump or Cruz nom­i­na­tion would be so po­lar­iz­ing that it would harm Repub­li­cans seek­ing re-elec­tion to the House.

He said that there would be sig­nif­i­cant seat pick-ups across the coun­try, in­clud­ing two in Florida, one in Vir­ginia, one in North Carolina, de­pend­ing on re­dis­trict­ing there, one or two New York, a few seats in Iowa, one in Colorado, one or two in Michi­gan and one in Mon­tana.

“The Repub­li­cans took over a lot of state­houses in 2010, [and] as a re­sult they had the gover­nance of the House and the Se­nate,” Hoyer said. “There was par­ti­san ger­ry­man­der­ing and as a re­sult we have a steep hill to climb.”

“But, hav­ing said that, if ei­ther Trump or Cruz are the nom­i­nees, I think we have a very sub­stan­tially en­hanced op­por­tu­nity to win the ma­jor­ity of the House,” he said.

That would re­quire the Democrats to win a net of 30 seats, the law­maker ac­knowl­edged.

The Repub­li­cans cur­rently hold 247 House seats to the Democrats’ 188. For ei­ther party, a ma­jor­ity re­quires con­trol of 218 seats.

“But we have won 30 seats in the past and Repub­li­cans have won 30 seats in the past, so it’s not out­side the realm of pos­si­bil­ity,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer added that a Trump ticket in par­tic­u­lar could gen­er­ate even more gains for the Demo­cratic Party.

He noted that Michael Ger­son, a Repub­li­can col- um­nist for the Wash­ing­ton Post, wrote ear­lier this month that Trump as the GOP nom­i­nee would de­stroy the party.

“Now [Ger­son is] a Repub­li­can. If he’s cor­rect, we could have a big vic­tory and win more than the 30 seats that we need,” Hoyer said.

In re­sponse, Joe Clus­ter, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Repub­li­can Party said “the con­gress­man is not liv­ing in re­al­ity in this pri­mary.”

“I don’t think he is watch- ing the turnout on the Repub­li­can side,” Clus­ter said. “I’m not sure how he is com­ing to that de­ter­mi­na­tion, but our turnout is up 60 to 70 per­cent in ev­ery state.”

He added: “There’s a mood na­tion­ally against the Democrats and we wouldn’t be see­ing the turnout if there wasn’t.”

Ac­cord­ing to the non-par­ti­san Cook Po­lit­i­cal Re­port, 18 Repub­li­can and four Demo­cratic House seats are la­belled as “toss ups.”

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