House Speaker John Boehner did not mean to set off a panic, but he did mean to issue a strong and loud wake-up call earlier this week when he said on Fox News that Democrats had a "one-in-three chance" of winning back the lower chamber of Congress in November.
It won't be easy for Democrats. The Republicans hold 242 seats, the most for them since 1946. Democrats would need to pick up a net 25 seats to retake control. Even if President Obama wins re-election in November, only once since World War II has the party that won the White House gained more than 15 seats in the House during the same election.
The chances may not be quite one-in-three Democrats could retake the House in 2012. But Speaker Boehner is right to sound the alarm. The time for Republican candidates to redouble efforts at fund-raising and organization building is now, while neither presidential campaign has captured the momentum.
Waiting could be dangerous--which was exactly the speaker's point.