As public disfavor for the Congress has continued under GOP House leadership, and presidential candidates for the Republican party have faced intense media scrutiny, Democrats are growing confident that they may win back the House of Representatives. A feat which would require a 25-seat swing.
Speaking to House Democrats during a retreat at the end of January, Vice President Joe Biden predicted that he and President Barack Obama would be reelected in addition to his belief that Democrats would win back the House "purely on the merits of our positions."
Now Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel is betting that overtaking the House will be at least "razor close." The Financial Times reports on the growing confidence among Democrats for a House win:
“We’ve gone from a gale force wind against us to a sustained breeze at our backs,” said Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Tuesday.
Democrats would need to capture 25 seats to take back the House from the Republicans who swept into power in the midterm elections on a wave of Tea Party anger at President Barack Obama. If that were to happen, it would mark the latest in rapid succession of historical political realignments in the House – including the Democratic triumphs of 2006 and 2008.
Most political analysts see Democrats gaining seats – probably between five and 10 – but falling short of recapturing the majority. But Mr Israel says he can envisage a 21-seat gain, putting Democrats “in range” of the target. “I would sign an affidavit that it’s going to be razor close,” he says.
"That's our sweet spot," he said at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Third Way, a centrist think tank. And Israel believes the way to find that kind of voter is by looking to districts led by Tea Party-affiliated members.
In the 2010 midterm election, 9 million independents swung for Republican candidates, giving the GOP control of the lower chamber. Independents "were frothing at the mouth, angry in 2010," said Israel. Focus groups and polling, though, tell him these voters cast their ballots against the Democrat in district races, and not necessarily for the "Tea Party Republican."
"They couldn't even tell you who they voted for, many of them," he said. "They remembered that they voted against the Democrat." Israel's party now sees an opportunity to better define their opponents in these types of districts.