WASHINGTON (CNN) - It may be months before Democrats and Republicans know the outcome of the heated battle over health care - but another high-stakes contest between the two parties will be resolved Friday night, when staffers take the field for the annual softball faceoff.
The contest may not be as heated as the battle over Iran policy, but it does provoke some politically-oriented trash talk.
"We are confident about the game tonight," said Republican National Committee Press Secretary Gail Gitcho. "Especially since we hear the DNC team is like the stimulus package - slow, ineffective and falls way short of expectations."
"Given how quickly their numbers are dwindling, we're surprised the RNC was able to find nine Republicans to field a team," said Hari Sevugan, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee.
The Democratic Party may have been on a winning streak over the past three years, taking control of Congress and the White House - but the GOP has held bragging rights on the diamond, with the RNC trumping the DNC three years in a row. Going into Friday's game, the DNC holds a 5-1 record this year while the RNC is undefeated, winning the only game they've played, 7-2.
Gitcho and Sevugan have raised the stakes by placing a wager on the outcome of the contest. Each organization sends a daily morning e-mail to reporters. The press secretary for the winning team Friday will write the top story - a game summary - for the opposing team's morning press e-mail on Monday. And the losing press secretary will have a day-long reminder of their defeat: an e-mail signature featuring the final score of the game.