The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is recruiting candidates to help overtake the Republican-controlled House in 2012.
Two years ago, the GOP thumped Democrats with the help of the Tea Party and took 63 seats to win the majority. But Congressman Steve Israel, D-Ny., who heads the DCCC, believes Democrats can capture 25 seats in next year’s election.
Fundraising results show House Democrats outpacing the GOP by $14.2 million to 10.7 million in the 3rd quarter.
Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., says it’s possible the Democrats could take back the House because Tea Party members have made Republicans vulnerable and many seats are in competitive districts.
“I don’t think it’s anywhere out of the realm of possibility. There are 61 Republicans who hold seats in districts that Barack Obama carried in 2008. I think every one of those is potentially a seat we could take back,” he says.
Another sign are surveys conducted after redistricting in many states that show plenty of chances for Democrats to pick up the seats in 2012.
From Public Policy Polling:
Over the last few weeks national polling has increasingly showed House Democrats recovering from their defeat in 2010 and taking the lead back on the generic House ballot. An October 10th Reuters survey showed Democrats ahead 48-40 and an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll the same day found Democrats with a 45-41 advantage.
The 12 districts we polled are all in states where redistricting has already occurred- Arkansas, California, Illinois, and Wisconsin. And in all 12 we found the same thing- voters would like to replace the Republican incumbent with someone else, and for the most part the new GOP House majority is proving to be extremely unpopular.
“What we’re seeing now in some of the polling nationwide is that many of these members and many more veteran members on the Republican side have what they call “re-elect numbers”—the percentage of people who think they deserve re-election—in the low 40s or ever below 40. Each of those is a potential takeover for us,” says Yarmuth.
The congressman himself is seeking re-election and had an inaugural fundraiser of more than $150,000, which was his most successful kick-off of his previous three campaigns.
When asked how the presidential race could affect the congressional count, Yarmuth says it will raise turnout but the results depend on President Obama’s popularity and who the Republican nominee is by next year.