Tags: Barack Obama | House | midterms | Democrats | GOP | losses

House Democrats Fear GOP Wave That Will Sink Party for Years

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:14 AM

Democrats are deeply concerned they will suffer devastating losses in midterm House elections that will take years for the party to recover from, Politico reports.

With Republicans spending a ton of cash in congressional races that were once comfortably liberal, there's a growing fear that not only will the GOP expand its 17-seat majority in the House next week, but Democrats will not win it back in 2016.

Democrats are caught in a financial dilemma whereby they have to stop pumping money into districts they are hoping to win and put it toward preventing once-safe seats from being captured by the GOP, according to Politico.

In recent days, with President Barack Obama's popularity continuing to wane even among the party faithful, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has poured cash into races in Hawaii and Nevada, states which turned sharply left in 2012.

"There's no question it's a tough climate for Democrats right now, but it certainly doesn't come as a surprise," said DCCC spokeswoman Emily Bittner. "Heading into the final week of the election every single Democratic incumbent is still competitive, which is drastically different from the situation in 2010."

There has even been increasing concerns about California Rep. Lois Capps, a congresswoman hoping to be elected to her ninth term who was a shoo-in in previous elections.

She's now fighting for her political future in a close contest with Republican challenger Chris Mitchum, son of the actor Robert Mitchum, and the DCCC has stepped in to help Capps by spending $99,000 on radio ads in the Santa Barbara area.

The DCCC chairman, Rep. Steve Israel of New York, is also concerned about the fate of Rep. Dave Loebsack, a three-term Iowa incumbent who has recently faced a series of attack ads from GOP groups.

Israel was so worried about the seat that he organized a fundraiser on Loebsack's behalf just days ahead of the Nov. 4 elections, according to the political news website.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, together with Israel, are expected to hold a conference call with members Tuesday afternoon to outline the problems Democrats are facing in the final run-up to the elections, while also pleading for more donations.

According to Politico, strategists from both parties expect Democrats to lose between five and 10 seats, while out of the 30 House races seen as most likely to change hands, 23 are held by Democrats.

Democratic operatives say the president's policies and unpopularity are hurting candidates across the board, Politico reported. For instance, in West Virginia and downstate Illinois, Rep. Nick Rahall and Rep. Bill Enyart are seeing their election chances slip away as the GOP ties them to their boss.

Republicans are also targeting districts that have long been considered liberal strongholds, such as Hawaii and eastern Iowa, which has received an injection of cash from American Action Network, a conservative group with links to House Speaker John Boehner.

The DCCC has, in fact, stopped the flow of money to races in Colorado and Virginia and started TV ads in two eastern Iowa districts, both of which Obama won in 2012.

Boehner has recently campaigned in Iowa for GOP hopefuls Rod Blum, a software company owner, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an ophthalmologist.

Boehner's spokesman Cory Fritz said, "All year, the speaker has been emphasizing the importance of making the most of every opportunity."

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Democrats are deeply concerned they will suffer devastating losses in midterm House elections that will take years for the party to recover from, Politico reports.
House, midterms, Democrats, GOP, losses, hurt, party, years
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2014-14-28
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:14 AM
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