But David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the Cook Political Report, says Democrats are really only waging competitive campaigns in 32 of those districts, which isn't enough to win the House back.
Stuart Rothenberg, an independent campaign analyst, projected last week that Democrats would gain between two and eight seats next Tuesday.
A senior House GOP campaign official told CNN on Wednesday that despite others predicting Republicans will lose seats, they believe they will actually gain between four and six.
A key part of House Democrats' strategy is to target more than a dozen so-called "orphan districts" -- congressional seats in states where the presidential campaign is not active and where Obama is expected to carry the state handily.
For example, Democrats are trying hard to unseat GOP incumbents in California, New York, and Obama's home state of Illinois.
Right after Republicans took control in 2010, House Speaker John Boehner recognized this weak spot and focused a major effort to support the mostly GOP freshmen in these states. Boehner has personally raised more than $10 million to help build local organizations and traveled extensively to stump for these candidates.
Back in April he raised the prospect of potentially significant losses in orphan districts, his remarks intended to warn Republicans focused on the presidential race and the battle for the Senate not to take GOP control of the House for granted.
The battleground for many of these House races has tilted increasingly toward the northeast and Midwest, after so many moderate Democrats lost in southern districts in the 2010 midterms.
In Illinois, Democrats see opportunities to defeat tea party freshman Rep Joe Walsh, seven-term Rep Judy Biggert, and a moderate Republican freshman Rep. Bob Dold.
Democrats have also set their sights on freshmen Reps. Nan Hayworth, Chris Gibson, Ann Marie Buerkle, and Michael Grimm in New York.
Former President Bill Clinton held a rally on Sunday in New York for Sean Patrick Maloney, his former aide who is running against Hayworth. He also recently held an event for five California Democrats, another area where campaign officials argue they can upset several GOP incumbents.
California Rep. Xavier Becerra, one of Pelosi's top lieutenants, told CNN a combination of wins in orphan districts, combined with pickups sprinkled around the country could translate into a path to the majority.
But even Becerra conceded, "we'd need a wind" to get those kind of gains. With a bitterly contested presidential election in 2012 that's expected to be close it's not the political environment for any kind of wave election.
Two years after tea party fuels GOP win, fades as 2010 factor
House Republican candidates are still stressing the core issues that the tea party movement pushed in 2010 -- less government and a focus on cutting federal spending and the deficit, but as one senior GOP strategist working on House races explained, they are "not wearing the tea party label on their sleeves."
Democrats, bolstered by polling that shows that many voters blame the tea party as the reason for gridlock in Washington, continue to try to pin the label on virtually every Republican incumbent and challenger.
House Democrats' campaign chief Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, argued to reporters last month that the "Tea Party Republican Congress has a 13% approval rating," and maintained Democrats have a chance to regain the majority because "there is a deep sense of buyer's remorse spreading throughout this country."
Even in a solidly blue state like Massachusetts, Democrats are trying to brand Tisei, who already said he would break with his party on taxes, as a tea party Republican.
Democrats say control could hinge on unease over Wisconsin Representative and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's Medicare plan.
Pelosi insists that Romney's pick of Ryan as his running mate was the game-changing moment in the battle for the House.