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Steve King: GOP may not win House

At a short luncheon appearance at the Heritage Foundation, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) went a little bit off of the GOP's script and offered some skepticism that the Republican Party could take the House of Representatives in November.

"We're going to win a lot of seats," said King, "but we cannot look at this point and say there's a clear path to winning. I'd predict we'll win between 35 and 70 seats. Call me an equivocator." (The party needs a net gain of 39 seats to win the House.)

One source of King's worry was the big Democratic win in Pennsylvania's 12th District last week, where Republicans spent big and lost the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) by eight points.

"The polls were closing," said King, "but when we started to predict we were going to win a victory, the expectations got too high."

King suggested that Tim Burns, the unsuccessful GOP candidate in the district who's running again in November, had been tripped up by his support of the Fair Tax, the 23 percent sales tax that, according to supporters, could replace the federal income tax. Burns erred, said King, by saying he didn't really support it.

"Once you back away," said King, "then you say, 'Well, I was wrong once, but I'm not any more, I got a little political heat,' it implies that your spine's not as strong as people thought it was."

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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