Tags: Polls | Midterms | Democrats | DCCC | Steve Israel

Rep. Steve Israel on Midterms: Dems 'Anticipated the Worst'

Rep. Steve Israel on Midterms: Dems 'Anticipated the Worst'
Democratic Congressional Caucus Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 October 2014 04:37 PM

The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reportedly warning that Election Day could be dismal for House minority party members.

In a briefing Wednesday, New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel began an update asserting 2014 isn’t as bad as 2010 was for House Democrats — and concluded 2016 will be a lot better, The Washington Post reports.

But in between, Israel assiduously deflected questions about just how bad Nov. 4 could be for House Democrats — even though his GOP counterpart, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, predicts Republicans could add to their already considerable 233-199 advantage and wind up with 245 seats after the upcoming elections, the Post reports.

"I know that I annoy you when I refuse to predict and prophesize," Israel responded to questions about his prediction, The Post reports, noting there are 32 races where opposing candidates are within 6 points of one another.

"I'm not going to go there. I'm just not going to go there."

The deflection is understandable; the DCCC has already abandoned some races
to concentrate on vulnerable incumbents like Reps. Brad Schneider and Bill Enyart (Illinois); Rick Nolan (Minnesota); Sean Patrick Maloney (New York); and Ami Bera (California), the Post reports.

"We're in trench warfare," Israel said, according to the Post.

He also pointed out that the DCCC deployed field staff sooner than in past elections for those incumbents, bought air time early, and was ready for an unfavorable national environment, saying: "We anticipated the worst from Day One," the Post reports.

Two polls released Wednesday hint that Nov. 4 could be very bad indeed for Democrats.
According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 46 percent of voters would prefer a Republican-controlled Congress compared to 44 percent eager to see Democrats in charge, attributing the preference to a grim 31 percent approval rating for President Barack Obama's handling of foreign policy.

And an ABC News poll also released Wednesday shows the GOP with a 50 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters in House races.

In his talk Wednesday, Israel urged Democrat super PACs, labor unions and other allies to ramp up their spending.

"In a world of Republican super PAC hurt, the pain can be ameliorated and even reversed when some of our outside allies decide that they're not going to leave a single race on the table and they come in and help fortify some of our candidates," he said, the Post reports.

The next election may be looking a lot stronger for House Democrats since it’s a presidential year, and that usually means higher turnout from the voters Democrats need — and no unpopular president to turn off voters.

"I really do believe that the Republicans are going to be facing strong headwinds in 2016," Israel said, the Post reports.

Meanwhile, the WSJ/NBC News pollsters caution anything may happen on Nov. 4 because of the "volatile environment" created by the Islamic State (ISIS) insurgence, the Ebola outbreak, voter discontent, and unusually high support for third-party candidates, Business Insider reports.

"Something weird will happen on election night," Bill McInturff, a GOP pollster who helped compile the survey for WSJ/NBC News said, Business Insider reports.

"When you are sitting on top of an unstable, ticked-off electorate, there is a joker in the deck that ought to give us a little bit of caution."

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The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reportedly warning that Election Day could be dismal for House minority party members.
Midterms, Democrats, DCCC, Steve Israel
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 04:37 PM
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