House is in play, Dems say
January 18th, 2012
04:18 PM ET
11 years ago

House is in play, Dems say

Washington (CNN) - The head of the House Democrats' campaign committee said Wednesday that Democrats are positioned to retake control of the House of Representatives this fall, and rolled out the committee's "red to blue program" touting recruits in competitive races across the country.

"I'm not saying we've got the 25 seats we need in the bank. I'm not saying the majority is a guarantee. I am saying that we are nipping at their heels and we have the potential to overtake them [Republicans] over the next nine months," Rep Steve Israel, D-NY, told reporters Wednesday at a briefing.

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Israel said Democrats initially hoped to compete in 50 races - double the amount needed to win back the majority in the House - by the end of the year, but said that because of the current political landscape he now believes Democrats are positioned to compete in 76 House districts.

On Wednesday the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a list of 36 House races in its "red to blue program" that pledges campaign money and resources to top tier candidates. The list included 18 Democratic candidates selected because the committee believes they've raised sufficient money on their own and are positioned to unseat Republicans.

It also lists another 18 seats Democrats believe they can win this fall. In those districts specific Democratic candidates were not identified because many are still engaged in primary contests to determine who will face off against the GOP candidate.

The roster, which Israel said will expand in the coming months, has a heavy emphasis on targeting House Republican freshmen, many of whom rode a wave of tea party frustration with the Democratic led House in 2010 to get elected. And many of the GOP seats Democrats are eyeing are in states where redistricting plans have moved incumbent Republicans into newly configured districts - seven of the "red to blue" are in California, five are in Illinois, and three are in Florida.

[Here's a link of the list of the red to blue districts]

Republicans were quick to predict that the new recruits that Israel touted on Wednesday would ultimately lose because of their party's policies, which they argue voters will oppose in November.

"With Nancy Pelosi announcing this week that Democrats will be running a campaign that takes pride in Obamacare and President Obama's other job destroying policies, the Democrat candidates in these districts are going to find themselves trapped in the very unfortunate situation of being saddled with an agenda Americans have already widely rejected," said Paul Lindsay, Communications Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Israel noted that Democrats lost control of the House in 2010 because 9 million independent voters abandoned them and supported GOP candidates. But now he said, based on a Democratic leaning poll, he sees those independents moving back to Democratic column, and that factor gives him reason to believe his party has a good shot to win back the gavel in the House.

Asked if President Obama's strategy to run against Congress could harm Democratic efforts to retake the House, Israel told reporters as long as the President emphasizes he's criticizing the Republican led House it will help his candidates make their case.

But Israel also admitted he had several conversations with the President directly about that strategy, and told reporters that as a result of those discussions, "I believe that he [the President] has been more assertive in using the word 'Republican' when he runs against the Congress."

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Filed under: 2012 • Congress
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. gt

    if you want a chance.... get rid of nancy....she is toxic...and debbie wasserman is terrible...

    January 18, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. AZ Dem

    Dems always had a chance to retake the house after the sweeping elections of the GOP in the midterms there majority is still fairly thin...there are so many vacancies occuring and after 2 years of living under GOP rule in many states citizens are ready to throw them out

    January 18, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. LL

    9 million independents jumped ship, but then the entire GOP jumped on the crazy train. Don't bet on those independents staying where they were.

    January 18, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Gurgi

    Hopefully America has awakened enough that we are not so foolish as to give control back to the democrats.

    January 18, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Mario

    To the 160 Million middle class workers it's we all come together and all republican in congress out of Washington. Mexican-Americans for Obama 2012

    January 18, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Duke One

    There are not that many seats up for re-election in the House this time around. The GOP will hold the House and regain the Senate where there are quite a few seats open for re-election. NO MORE LIBERALS they have destroyed this great country of ours !!

    January 18, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. ShawnDH

    The Teabag Congress is the most hated in US history. The House is most definitely in play.

    January 18, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Democrats are gonna have to rename the party to the Delusional Party. We heard the same insanity before the 2010 elections. How they were going to keep the majority in the House then proceeded to lose a record 66 seats while the Republicans lost 3 seats.

    The American people have seen two more years of Obama failure, high unemployment, record debt and record deficits while Europe (Obama's model for us) goes bankrupt. Thanks to Obama, Reid and Pelosi the Delusional Party will be near extinction come January. The USA will reject their leftist socialist failure in HUGE numbers.

    January 18, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Duke – aren't all house seats up for election, or did Fox change that?

    January 18, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Truth, you are delusional. John Boehner has done the impossible, and made Congress even more ineffective than it was under Pelosi, Hastert and Gingrich combined. The Teabag Congress will be swept out, and Obama will be reelected. The Senate is another question, but Mitch McConnell will look a damn fool after pledging to make Obama a one-term president and failing, then havng to deal with a man who has out thought and out-fought him. Good luck crying in your beer after the election.

    January 18, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After the republicans in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, showed American workers their true agenda and whose side they are on, I think the GOPers are in for a shock in November.

    January 18, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. ShawnDH

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth: you are obviously living in a fantasy world. Obama's approval rating is hovering near 50% (pretty darn good for a president at this time in a cycle) and your Teabag Congress has tanked to the lowest approval in US low as 9% in some polls, less popular than al Qaeda. It's backlash time. You will lose.

    January 18, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Right wingnuts are delusional if they think Americans want more of the 30 year war on workers, poor, seniors, veterans, and minorities.

    January 18, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    bo ner is back talking nonsense about job creation because they didn't get their wish for the Keystone pipeline. Too bad weeper.
    If I recall didn't his party of losers run on jobs in 2010? I am sure there's plenty of stories and videos about their lies.
    Has anyone seen him yet? I bet he is all tanned and stinking from those cigarettes and the smell of alcohol.

    January 18, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. diridi

    this time I am voting direct Democratic Ticket, plus Obama...period.

    January 18, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Mario

    Republicans need to wake up and look at what happen in Ohio and Wisconsin last November. Democrats will take over the house and YOU CAN THANK THE TEA PARTY FOR THAT!

    January 18, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Ed 1

    Like we need more bills that are not read like Obama Health care, spending with money we don't have, and just plain poor leadership that has done nothing for the past three years but put us deeper in debt.

    you really need to look at the Dems who asked and got lower requirements for home loans and did nothing but play the race card and blame game.

    I am sick and tired of you and what you say you stand for. the Unions continue to be your biggest supporter and you see where that gets us.

    January 18, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. mr deshon

    Ahhhh I love the smell of Republican fear in the morning!!! I intially was upset about the Repub sweep of the House in 2010 & push for the Senate also. But after a deep breath I realized it was perfect they won because America would finally get a taste of some good ole fashion 1980s Reaganism(racist!) & they did NOT disappoint! Republicans love rich folks & hate poor folks.Period! Dems will take the House & the White house this fall. They are done as a party after this year. 4 more years Mr. Prez!!!

    January 18, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. John

    Man I hope so.

    January 18, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Obama Cares

    I'll never vote for a rethug. If the Dems weren't so timid and intimidated they would still have control of the House.

    January 18, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Wiley

    He is drinking during the day – that is not going to happen. The GOP will most likely keep the House and possibly win the senate. IT will continue to be divided government like it should be. Give it entirely to one party and it is a disaster as we have witnessed from both the GOP and Democrats in the last 15 years. I like a lot of people would rather them fight and accomplish nothing then see the trash pushed through when one group has total control.

    January 18, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. The Dude

    I'll do my part in evicting the losers from the house. Every one of them.

    January 18, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. T'sah from Virginia

    Vote "DEMOCRAT" in 2012 all the way down
    That would ensure we "get rid" of the Republican clowns
    But this time around the President "does not" have to pander
    To the Republicans and they would be forced "finally" to work together!!

    Obama and All Democrats running – 2012!!!!

    January 18, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. mk1

    I only wish my district with it's rabidly conservative rep would be competitive, but no we are stuck with this lemming of the right.

    January 18, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. bill

    just let the republicans keep messing up and the dems will win
    the gop is killing itself

    January 18, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |