Many House Democrats expect a glum future for their party leading in to the 2012 election season.
According to POLITICO, interviews with dozens of House members of both parties have revealed a shift from Democratic optimism last spring to a grim dismay at the challenges facing Democrats in 2012.
“We never said winning the House would be easy. It’s hard, tough work and it should be; the stakes for the American people are high,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Crider told POLITICO. “[DCCC chairman Steve] Israel promised the caucus one thing — the House would be in play. And the House is in play far earlier than anyone expected it to be because of Republicans’ vote to end Medicare, their lack of focus creating jobs, their obstructionism and their hyperpartisanship. The DCCC is working 24/7 recruiting excellent candidates and helping them and our members build top-notch campaigns. This work will pay off in November 2012.”
According to the article, Democrats need to net 25 seats to take the Speaker’s gavel from John Boehner, but a gain of that many seats has occurred just six times in the past 20 election cycles — and just once in a Presidential election year.
The party is hopeful that Texas Governor Rick Perry, who seems to give many independents a skin-crawling feeling, will get the GOP nomination to tip the scales back in their favor.
“If they nominate someone [for president] who’s off the edge, doesn’t believe in global warming, doesn’t believe in evolution, doesn’t believe in Social Security, they’ll be in big trouble,” said former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Martin Frost. “If they nominate Mitt Romney, things will be a lot tougher.”
Even if the GOP picks a hard-to-run candidate, redistricting following the 2010 election cycle has given the party a competitive edge when it comes to 2012 House elections, the article says.