(CNN) - It's too early in the game to predict which party will clean up in November's midterm elections, Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Sunday.
But his Republican counterpart, Rep. Greg Walden, indicated Obamacare and a still-struggling economy are issues enough to stoke enthusiasm for the GOP in this year's election.
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Israel, a New York Democrat, told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" it's premature to predict November will be a boon for the GOP.
"You never predict the ninth inning in the first inning," he said.
"And as a Mets fan, you don't predict the ninth inning in the ninth inning," Israel added, acknowledging Democrats have had more difficulty turning out voters in midterm elections.
A CBS poll highlights that enthusiasm gap. The national survey showed 70% of Republicans are excited about the midterm election, compared with 58% of Democrats who said the same. The poll showed 47% of independents said they were excited.
Israel pushed back on the findings, suggesting it's still too soon to attach electoral significance to those numbers.
"On that poll, the two most important words were 'in November.' It's not November. We are the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, not climate committee. We don't worry about the climate. We build out campaigns," he said.
But with Congressional approval ratings dipping to record lows, Walden, a Republican from Oregon, insisted Americans aren't judging Congress just by its Republican members.
"Congress is controlled also in the Senate by the Democrats. So when you talk about Congress approval ratings, remember, you've got Harry Reid and the Democrats running the Senate," he said.
Democrats, keenly aware of the drop-off problem in midterm elections, have been talking about the minimum wage and equal pay - politically powerful issues they hope will motivate their base to show up in November.
Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report said this strategy is "the best they’ve got."
"The President's at 42%, the economy is still struggling. The real question is, will it be enough?" she said on CNN’s "Inside Politics."
Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator Cornell Belcher said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Democrats need to expand the electorate, as Republicans struggle to gain support from groups like minorities and women.
"If in fact the electorate looks in '14 as it did in '10, Democrats will lose across the board," he said.
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