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The GOP hopes to buck the trend of parties in power losing seats in off-year elections -- but how? A shift of "only" 26 seats would give the republicans their long-sought control of the US House of Representatives. Rep. Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan, the House minority whip, says 12 of those seats will be a "gift" due to forthcoming reapportionment from the 1980 census. The other 14 seats? Trust that to Reagan's popularity, Vander Jagt says.

Every off-year election since 1934 has benefited the party out of power. The GOP hasn 't controlled the House since 1955.m

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