February 6, 2014
Politics was at the forefront of Republicans senators’ minds at their annual retreat on Wednesday.
After hearing from a congressional handicapper and conservative observers at the Library of Congress, there’s growing optimism among GOP lawmakers that their odds of becoming the majority party are on the rise.
GOP strategists have been touting the party’s chances of picking up the six seats they need to take back the Senate for months. But some once-burned veteran senators are skeptical of bold internal predictions, after they saw their caucus shrink two seats in 2012.
“I feel very good about it. However, this time two years ago, I felt good about it, too” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). “Anything can come along and totally change things.”
Senate Republicans note their position looked much worse only a few months ago in the midst of the government shutdown, when the party’s approval rating dropped to a record low.
But hearing Wednesday from Stuart Rothenberg, editor of The Rothenberg Political Report and a respected handicapper, that they are slightly favored to win control of the upper chamber boosted their confidence.
Don’t get cocky, kids.