Washington (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, acknowledged Thursday that there is an anti-Washington sentiment in the country, but downplayed any impact the public's mood would have on Democrats in this November's midterm elections.
"There's no question, there's, at this point, an anti-incumbent mood," the leading House Democrat said during her weekly news conference. "But I have confidence that my members know how to speak, communicate with their districts, and I wouldn't tell them to do anything less than work as hard as they possibly can, assume nothing, but don't be dragged down by assumptions that may or may not apply to them."
But House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, pointed to the House Democrats' lack of progress on an annual budget as evidence that they are ignoring the public's frustration with those in charge of Congress.
"The American people are deeply concerned about Washington Democrats' out-of-control spending spree. And quite frankly, it's just scaring the hell out of them," Boehner said during his weekly press appearance.
The leading House Republican argued that this sentiment will help the GOP's efforts to win back control of the House. And Boehner maintained that 100 seats are in play this November - more than double the amount Republicans would need to take become the majority.
"It really begins with regaining the trust of the American people. They've pretty well decided at this point that the Democrat spending spree here in Washington is hopeless, and so they're giving us a second shot." Boehner said.
In a week where two incumbent members of Congress lost their bids for re-election, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday shows Americans' opinion of Washington is low. When asked if they "trust the government in Washington," almost a third said they "almost never" do and 44 percent said they do "only some of the time."
Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, a 14-term incumbent and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, lost his primary battle Tuesday to Democratic State Sen. Mike Oliverio. On Saturday, Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah lost his bid for a fourth term after failing to get enough votes at the GOP state convention to compete in the primary.
Pelosi noted Mollohan's loss was to another Democrat, but said when it comes to politics, "I take nothing for granted." But the Speaker argued that the battle for control of Congress will be decided one race at a time, not based on a national mood, and vowed Democrats will have the resources to compete in the fall.