[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/08/art.pelosi.file6.gi.jpg caption="House Democratic leaders used a closed-door session Tuesday to try to calm election-day jitters."]
Washington (CNN) – House Democratic leaders returned to the Capitol and used their first closed door meeting Tuesday night with rank and file Democrats to try to calm jittery nerves by delivering a series of presentations making the case that things aren't as dire for Democrats as they seem, according to multiple sources in the room.
They also heard from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, who made the case that the Democrats push to extend tax cuts only for the middle class and below is their bet against Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a preview of her private remarks before going in, insisting to reporters that she stands by her prediction that Democrats will hold control of the House.
"I am not yielding one grain of sand. I want to have the same big strong majority we have but I feel certain that we will," said Pelosi, responding to a question from CNN about whether she still thinks they will keep the majority.
She also sought to lay out the stark difference between Democrats and Republicans on key issues just as the president has been doing since last week.
"Preserve Social Security, tax cuts for the middle class, make it in America as contrasted with the Republicans who want to privatize social security, tax cuts for the wealthy and send jobs overseas," said Pelosi, who also responded to a CNN question about whether she may lose her speaker's gavel by replying sharply, "this has nothing to do with me."
Several sources say that inside the hour plus House Democratic meeting, members heard Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen go through internal polling and argue that in some key races, Democrats are "starting to see some improvement."
But the headline speaker was Greenberg, who used his polling to help Democratic leaders convince a divided caucus that doing away with tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is the most potent issue they have to narrow the gap with Republicans.
According to two sources in the room, Greenberg showed Democratic members data that the gap in the generic poll between Democrats and Republicans narrows 5 points when voters are presented with the argument that Democrats want to cut taxes for the middle class and let tax cuts for wealthiest Americans expire.
One of the sources said Greenberg told Democrats they have to "get into a fight" with Republicans on an issue, and that tax cuts is the one that energizes the base the most, and lures independent voters.
Still, a number of moderate Democrats in tough fights to keep their seats do not agree, and say they want all Bush era tax cuts to be extended, even for upper brackets.
CNN has learned that Rep. Jim Matheson, D-UT, stood up in the meeting to make that case.
Michigan Democrat Gary Peters told CNN that at least 20 Members have signed a letter he is circulating with a group of Democrats urging Pelosi to move ahead with a vote on a short term extension for all tax rates.
While Democratic leaders want to move forward on a vote just to extend tax cuts for middle class voters, they are also wary of further endangering some of their most vulnerable members.
That's why they have not yet made a decision on when or if to have a vote before November's election.
House Budget Chairman John Spratt, D-SC, who is in a difficult re-election fight, acknowledged to CNN afterwards "it's a tough environment" but that he heard a "convincing argument" that Democrats are going to do well in November.
But perhaps most telling was his answer on tax cuts: He is undecided.