By Marshall Griffin, KWMU
Jefferson City, MO – Will Democrats retake the Missouri House this fall? Their Minority Floor Leader thinks so.
Paul LeVota (D, Independence) says they only need to hold onto the seats they currently have and gain 12 more to take control of the Missouri House next year.
"Our internal polls tell us that it's a strong anti-incumbent year, which helps the minority party, and as we're challenging some of the incumbents, that's strong...structurally, the Barack Obama Campaign is playing very strong in Missouri, and that will benefit House Democrat candidates," LeVota said.
But House Majority Floor Leader Steve Tilley (R, Perryville) disagrees.
"We've got more Republicans running unopposed than we've ever had, and we've got more Democrats running opposed than they've ever had...from a fundraising standpoint, if you look at the House Republican Campaign Committee, we've got $1.3 million (in) cash on hand, and they've got somewhere around $260,000," Tilley said.
Tilley added that he believes Obama will have the reverse effect of driving up Republican turnout.
There are 163 seats in the Missouri House, and 82 are needed to claim a majority.
The Republicans currently hold 90 seats, the Democrats hold 70, and there are three vacant seats.