Democrats Hope to Use GOP 'Chaos' to Make Gains at Ballot Box

Friday, 23 Aug 2013 11:28 AM

By Melanie Batley

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House Democrats are hoping that a protracted fight with Republicans over the budget will swing voters to their side in the 2014 midterm elections.

According to The Hill, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is working on a "chaos" campaign theme to convince voters the GOP is more concerned with its ideology than acting responsibly to avoid a government shut down and protect the nation's credit.

"Americans are fed up with House Republicans' gridlock and obstruction — but most importantly, they're frustrated with the lack of progress on issues that matter, like working together to create good jobs, protecting Medicare and reducing our deficit in a balanced way," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel told The Hill.

In particular, the party intends to focus on the willingness of some conservatives to force a shutdown over their call to defund Obamacare, particularly in the House where some 80 GOP members appear to be set on defying their leadership and pressing their effort to cut off funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"House Republicans are threatening shutdowns and economic crises if they don't get their way in partisan ideological battles — and that will be their downfall in 2014," said New York Congressman Israel.

Republicans, however, think the strategy will be a nonstarter, believing the public holds all lawmakers responsible for the gridlock in Washington. They also contend a similar narrative failed in 2011 during the debt ceiling debate.

"It sounds to me [what] House Democrats are saying more and more is they're actually rooting for a government shutdown so they can score political points. That's the lowest of the low," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Dan Scarpinato told The Hill.

"The longer House Democrats refuse to be part of the solution to stopping Obamacare and reducing our debt the more voters are going to reject putting [California Rep. ] Nancy Pelosi back in the speaker's chair."

To regain the majority in 2014, Democrats would need to pick up 17 seats, a lofty goal for a midterm election, according to The Hill.

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