Updated: 9:10 p.m. ET
John Boehner is suggesting that Democrats have a one in three chance of taking back the House of Representatives in 2012.
"I would say that there is a two in three chance that we win control of the House again. But there's a one in three chance that we could lose. And I'm being myself, frank, we've got a big challenge and we've got work to do," Boehner told Fox News' Bill Hemmer in an interview that will air on Tuesday.
Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. Democrats need a net gain of 25 seats to retake the majority.
"We have 50 of our members in tough races; 89 freshmen running for their first re-elections," said Boehner. "And we have 32 districts that are in states where there is no presidential campaign going to be run, no big Senate race and we call these orphan districts."
He added: "You take 18 of them -- California, Illinois and New York, where you know we're not likely to do well at the top of the ticket -- and those districts are frankly pretty vulnerable."
Boehner's comments may be designed in part to spur Republican donors to give money to the National Republican Congressional Committee and similar organizations that work to get Republicans elected to the House.