Democrats Need to Expand House Playing Field

Watch the candidate recruiting that DCCC Chairman Steve Israel and his team do over the next few months. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Can Democrats win back the House in 2014? Not unless a strong recruiting cycle and national events give them a big boost. My column in Tuesday's Roll Call looks at the top Democratic opportunities around the country — district by district — and finds the party well short of the three to four dozen serious targets that it needs. (For Rothenberg Political Report House ratings, click here.)

"That makes 17 districts where Democrats start with realistic opportunities to make gains. The list could grow, of course, with GOP retirements, unusually strong Democratic recruits or redrawn districts in Florida and Texas. But 17 districts are not nearly enough opportunities to give Democrats a decent chance of taking back the House."

So, the one thing to watch over the next six to nine months is how many strong House challengers Democrats can put on the field.