>The chaos at the Republican National Committee threatens to cost Republicans the chance to take control of the House of Representatives, Republican strategists fear. During midterm elections, the national committee plays two essential roles. First, it serves as a bank account that can be drawn upon to shore up House races or put others into play. Second, it coordinates the party's field operations and funds joint "Victory" committees with state parties. The RNC, at the moment, is barely fulfilling the second function and has less than $10 million on hand, so it cannot help much with House races.
Charlie Cook, the political oddsmaker, rates 73 House races as competitive. To win the House, Republicans would need to pick up 44 seats. They have the candidates to do that, but Democrats have a significant financial advantage to put toward holding seats; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has twice as much cash on hand as the National Republican Campaign Committee. As Cook has noted, even if Republicans win most of the toss-up seats and races that lean Republican, they'd have to win about half the seats that lean Democrat right now.
The degraded political environment, the sluggish or non-existent economic recovery, and the enthusiasm of Republican base voters are intangibles that, properly harnessed, could easily put Republicans over the top. But without a solid field program to bring voters to the polls, and with ranks of well-funded Democratic incumbents, that edge could be lost on election day.