May 21, 2024
Top Democrats left Washington voicing more optimism about their odds of holding the House than in months, with leaders arguing that they’ve gained momentum in the final stretch of the midterm elections.

Top Democrats left Washington voicing more optimism about their odds of holding the House than in months, with leaders arguing that they’ve gained momentum in the final stretch of the midterm elections.

Political forecasters have largely projected that Republicans will flip control of the lower chamber, with analysts repeatedly noting that the party that holds total control of Congress and the White House historically has lost seats in the midterm elections. But Democratic lawmakers have pointed to their successes in two recent special elections, President Joe Biden’s slight uptick in approval ratings, and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade over the summer as factors that may drive out voters to support them in November. Democrats have looked to paint Republicans as extremists and link candidates with former President Donald Trump, tactics they believe will help sway voters in swing districts.

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Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) acknowledged that the party has faced headwinds this cycle but feels changes in the climate will work to their advantage in the weeks leading up to Nov. 8.

“Well, look, I mean, I think we feel like we’re on offense, and we’re getting stronger every day. Millions of voters are waking up to the fact that the MAGA movement has taken away 50 years of guaranteed reproductive freedom, and they’re doing nothing about the attacks on our democracy or the violence in our classrooms with guns. So we see our candidates getting stronger,” he told the Washington Examiner.

“But we know we’re the underdogs, and that’s the way we’re approaching the final weeks — we’re going to leave it all in the field,” he said.

During an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) predicted that “we will win the — hold the House, and we will hold the House by winning more seats.”

When pressed on the matter, with Colbert noting that polls indicate that the GOP has an edge, the California Democrat dismissed the idea that Republicans have it in the bag.

“I feel just watching each of the races — forgive me for saying this, in a very cold-blooded way, as to which races we can win, to ensure that we not only hold the House, but we increase our number,” she continued.

And House Majority Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters shortly before the House recessed that while he wouldn’t pinpoint which specific districts the party would win, he is confident they can retain the majority, arguing that the passage of Democrats’ reconciliation bill is beneficial to combating the GOP’s attacks on inflation and gas prices.

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“I can’t tell you today what specific seats will win because you always have a surprise,” he said, “But I think we’re going to hold the majority, and we may pick up a number of seats. … We’ve made a positive difference in terms of people we’re back to work, people back to gathering together and back to going to church, the kids are back in school, and we put money in your pocket.”

While Democrats remain hopeful about their chances of keeping the House, Republicans have expressed strong optimism that they will far surpass the four seats needed to topple the Democratic majority.

A group of senior lawmakers led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) unveiled their midterm agenda outside Pittsburgh at the end of the month, with members asserting they believe the blueprint will demonstrate a contrast in policies to Democrats and sway voters to support them next month.

The GOP has asserted that while gas prices have come down since they peaked this summer, they are still substantially higher than they were under GOP control and noted that inflation remains high. Polling has indicated voters trust Republicans with inflation more. They have also largely dismissed the notion that the recent special elections in New York and Alaska serve as bellwethers, arguing that the races presented unique circumstances that the party won’t face in November.

“Joe Biden by all metrics is a failed president, and that’s why we’re going to have a huge red wave this November,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who recently told reporters she believes the party could pick up as many as three dozen seats, said during an interview with Bernie and Sid in the Morning.

“Republicans do not take anything for granted,” she said. “So we are going to work to earn back the House, and I know the Senate candidates are going to work to earn back the Senate.”

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