Most observers believe former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will retire if the Democrats don’t retake the House. That should help motivate some of the Republican grassroots.
Democrats have a high hill to climb to overcome their historic loss in 2010 (63 seats). They need to pick up 25 seats, but the latest polling shows the generic test for voter intention in congressional races is dead even; i.e., no Democratic advantage.
In Democratic wins in 2006 (they retook the House) and 2008 (they padded their majority), they were ahead by about 10 points in the generic test.
Nor is there much evidence that a strong presidential race will help House candidates. Neither Clinton in his 1996 re-election nor Bush in 2004 picked up more than a handful of seats.
Is Pelosi’s retirement imminent?
See Gallup: Voters indicate tight race for Congress