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Columnist predicts strong gains for Republicans

National Review columnist Jim Geraghty answers questions Monday from those gathered at Aunt Chilada's for the First Monday Republican Lunch Group on Hilton Head island.
National Review columnist Jim Geraghty answers questions Monday from those gathered at Aunt Chilada's for the First Monday Republican Lunch Group on Hilton Head island.

Republicans will likely reclaim the U.S. House of Representatives and could win a majority in the U.S. Senate in the November elections, national conservative columnist Jim Geraghty said during a meeting of the First Monday Republican Lunch Group on Hilton Head Island.

"If you're a Republican and you're staying home this year and not getting excited, just curl up and die," Geraghty said Monday, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Geraghty is a columnist for The National Review and periodically offers commentary on CNN and Fox News. He is tentatively scheduled to appear Friday on "The Sean Hannity Show" on Fox News.

He pinpointed 99 races across the country in which Democrats are vulnerable. Among them is Rep. John Spratt of York, who holds the 5th Congressional District seat. Geraghty said Spratt's support of President Barack Obama's health care plan makes the incumbent particularly at risk.

"He's struggled with some health issues recently, and I'd like to give him some extra time at home to recover from them," he said.

Spratt will face Republican Mick Mulvaney in November. Neither faces opposition in today's party primaries.

On the state's governor's race, Geraghty mocked Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's "refusal to make eye contact with any of the other candidates, the moderator, or anyone else" during last week's GOP debate in Charleston.

An informal poll taken during the lunch showed the Hilton Head crowd of about 150 leaning toward state Rep. Nikki Haley. U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett polled second. S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster and Bauer received few votes.

Geraghty praised U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, whose district includes Beaufort County, as being the "most awesome Republican in America" and said Obama has advocated encroaching government and has exhibited poor leadership and laziness.

"Work harder, Mr. President. We want to see results," he said. "... This could be a stunning rebuke in November."

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