'Nothing we could do': House Republicans resigned to big losses after Trump crippled their campaign efforts
Kevin McCarthy (CNBC/screen grab)

Republicans are preparing to witness their House minority shrink as election results roll in Tuesday night across America.


A GOP operative who spoke with NBC News claimed, "Anything in the single-digit losses is a decent night." The operative also described a net loss of 15 seats as "a reasonably bad night ... If it’s worse than that, Trump is probably being washed out and there was nothing we could do anyway."

The GOP operative spoke candidly on condition of anonymity. Trump is down on average by about 8 points from his 2016 vote "across all types" of districts, including the suburbs, the operative added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters Tuesday she feels "absolutely certain" that Democrats "can win many seats." Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the chair of the Democratic party's House election arm, added, "I believe we will grow the majority."

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) told NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell that he predicts a net gain of 10 or 12 seats for his party.

“We’ll see," Clyburn said. "Holding the House would just be the status quo. Winning the Senate would make it good."

As of Tuesday morning, FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast projected that Democrats have a 75 in 100 chance of flipping the Senate. Republicans, meanwhile, have a 25 in 100 chance of keeping control — as likely as drawing a spade from a deck of cards.

 wrote, "Remember, Democrats need a net gain of only three seats (if they also win the vice presidency) or four (if Vice President Mike Pence wins a second term) in order to take control. But not all of those GOP-held seats are equally vulnerable — so let’s break them down into categories based on roughly how likely they are to turn blue."