Washington (CNN) – When voters head to the polls in November, the Democratic National Committee would like them to remember Democrats with one word: results.
On Wednesday at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, chairman Tim Kaine revealed his party’s new message and strategy months ahead of the midterm elections. Kaine talked about the efforts with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on John King, USA.
Kaine told King that Democrats hope to convince voters they are the party of results. Part of their new strategy will involve pushing that message, helping local candidates, and convincing many of the new voters – that voted for President Barack Obama in the last election – to support Democrats in the midterms.
The DNC chairman said that while the economy still needs improvements, it’s moved from recession to recovery.
Kaine said, “I think the improvement will be noticed by our voters and we'll be able to make the case to them, do you want to keep climbing or do you want to hand the keys back to the guys who put us into the ditch?”
The DNC chairman listed other items that Democrats see as points that, they argue, show Democratic results. Among them: Americans will soon benefit from the new health care reform law, and there has been progress in the war on terror.
“The success story is starting to build,” Kaine told King.
Another part of Democrats’ new strategy will be to continue to brand Republicans as “the party of no.” Democrats will hammer Republicans for their objections to Democratic goals on health care, Wall Street reform and energy policy, Kaine said.
“We’re the results team, the other guys are the obstructionists - and that choice is pretty clear,” Kaine told King.
The former Virginia governor said he’s realistic about the uphill challenge his party faces in getting many of 2008’s new Democratic voters to return to the polls this November.
“Nobody will turn out at the presidential level in a non-presidential level,” Kaine said. “But if we can communicate with them in ways and make that match between the president and his policies and these candidates and increase their turnout by, say, 10 percent over a baseline, that can be hugely important in these races.”
After Democrats lost the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat to Republican Sen. Scott Brown, Kaine also said he’s realistic about the possibility of losing two other seats in traditionally Democratic-leaning states: Delaware and Illinois.
“I mean since [President] Teddy Roosevelt, the average is you lose 28 House seats, you lose four Senate seats, you lose governor's races. And that's the average and we're not living in average times,” Kaine said, referring to the party in power often losing seats in midterm elections.
In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele blasted Democrats’ new message and strategy.
“Chairman Kaine’s new strategy smacks of desperation as it has become increasingly clear Democrats have lost the independents who will be the deciding voice this fall,” Steele said. “Even worse, as public approval of ObamaCare continues to drop, it’s obvious that Democrats have given up any hope of getting them back.”
Steele added, “Under President Obama and Congressional Democrats, the only people who have seen ‘results’ are the labor unions and special interests that funded their campaigns, while everyday Americans feel that they have been shut out of the democratic process. Their candidates are heading into the midterms in the unenviable position of running on a record that includes raising taxes, running up the federal credit card, and doing nothing to address record-breaking unemployment.”