House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Sunday that Democrats have a “very excellent chance” to retake the House majority in November, and characterized the day Republican Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) as his vice presidential running mate as a “pivotal” one in the campaign.
Democrats need to net 25 seats to win back the majority. Pelosi, whose served as House speaker during the last Congress in which Democrats were in the majority declined to say Sunday whether she would run for House Democratic leader if her party falls short of taking back the majority.
Truth. [Without so many blue dogs]
House Democratic leaders are sweeping the country this month in the face of tough odds for retaking the chamber from Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and the majority Republicans.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has already dipped into Florida on the first leg of an exhaustive fundraising tour she’s planned for the long August recess, while Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is bouncing up and down the east coast this week in the early stages of a similar national campaign.
Their strategy is no mystery: To visit the most contested districts in the country, use their prominence to raise money and churn headlines, and hope they can pick up the seats they’ll need to win back the Speaker’s gavel in November.
They have a steep climb ahead. After winning control of the House in 2006, Democrats were clobbered in the 2010 mid-terms, losing 63 seats and sending the gavel back to the GOP. To retake the lower chamber, Democrats would need to steal back at least 25 of those spots.
If you are in a place they are visiting, I hope you will grab your friends and show up. These are critically important races as the last two years have demonstrated.
The House has created a Democratic Cloakroom intern initiative for college-age students a month after announcing the elimination of Congress’s high school page program.“A limited number of students will be selected to work with our professional cloakroom staff,” she added. “Only interns already chosen to serve in members’ offices will be considered.”
In a letter Tuesday to members of the House Democratic Caucus, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote that the new initiatives “will provide current Congressional college-level interns the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the Democratic Cloakroom.”
The Democratic leader will ask members to recommend interns for the program, which will last up to six weeks as part of the student’s existing Washington internship placement.
Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch don’t often see eye to eye with youngest brother Bill.
They forced him out of their father’s oil company, Koch Industries, in 1982 after an epic power struggle that saw Bill sue his brothers and reportedly walk away with a $260 million settlement. Several years later, he sued them again, accusing them of skirting federal regulations, and he won millions more.
The brothers’ political tastes are also at odds. Whereas Charles and David funnel tens of millions of dollars to the coffers of Republican and Tea Party conservatives, Bill’s politics are harder to pin down. While he too breaks off bits of his fortune for influential leaders in the Grand Old Party, he has also bankrolled Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and other Democrats that make him a bona fide black sheep.
Still, the three brothers share many common interests. They love to spend time in Colorado and gobble up its gorgeous real estate, and they all appear to have taken a shine to U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton.
There has been various circumstantial evidence that the public’s dissatisfaction with the performance of Congress, particularly during the debt ceiling debate, could threaten the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Disapproval ratings for the Congress are at record highs, as are disapproval ratings for the Republican Party. Other polls show record numbers of Americans saying that their representative should not be re-elected, that most members of Congress should not be re-elected, or both.
What we haven’t had, however, are polls comparing Democrats against Republicans in a direct way. That’s why the poll that Gallup published Friday ought to concern Republicans. It shows a 7-point Democratic advantage on the generic Congressional ballot — meaning simply that more Americans told Gallup they plan to vote for a Democrat for Congress next year. Although the generic ballot is a crude measure, it is probably the best macro-level indicator of the direction that the House is headed in.
Last year, Republicans won the popular vote for the U.S. House — essentially what the generic ballot is trying to measure — by 7 percentage points. So a poll showing Democrats 7 points ahead instead is a pretty significant swing.