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Nancy Pelosi Bets on Florida Redistricting to Win Congress

July 15, 2014 - 6:00pm
According to the Democratic leader in the U.S. House, the road to her party winning back control of the chamber winds through the Sunshine State. In an interview published on Wednesday, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., offered her take on Democratic chances to flip the U.S. House in November -- and said it comes down to Florida.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Pelosi said on Wednesday that she sees a way for Democrats to pick up 25 seats from Republicans and flip the chamber. Currently, Democrats need to win 17 seats to wrest control away from the GOP. Most pundits give the Democrats almost no chance of winning the House.

Pointing to a decision from Judge Terry Lewis last week that ruled the seats currently held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., do not pass constitutional muster, Pelosi said it could help Democrats in the Sunshine State. Lewis ruled that the seats violate the Fair District amendments passed by Florida voters in 2010. Legislative leaders said earlier this week that they would not challenge the decision but asked for redistricting not to occur until after the 2014 elections, noting that absentee ballots had already been sent out to members of the military voting in the August primaries.

Florida, you know, is big for us, Pelosi told the Washington Post. Well see how it goes. We have a few and we won that [legal] decision. Now well see what the judge says about where we go from here, for now and for the future, but it really was necessary. It was a major involvement all around. But worth it.

"I want 25, so how do we get 25? Pelosi continued. Well, it depends on how we do in Florida."

How many do you think are in play now in Florida that theyve made that ruling? Ed OKeefe from the Post asked Pelosi.

"It depends on the judge, Pelosi answered. Hes called in the lawyers. Thats what I read in the papers. What Ive read in the papers is that hes calling in the lawyers, and I dont know what hell do next. Could be three seats, but what it does is, even if its not three seats, itll make our others easier."

Currently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has only one Florida Republican in its various target lists: U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland.

Republicans downplayed Democrats chances of winning control of the House in November, noting that President Barack Obama, his signature health-care law and Pelosi herself are not doing well in the polls.

We dont need a new slogan to know what Nancy Pelosis agenda is: fewer jobs, runaway spending, and Obamacare, said Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), on Wednesday. We hope Democrats run on her endorsement and platform; there is no better way to ensure Republicans pick up seats in November.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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