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Why Democrats think they can retake the House in 2014

February 17, 2013, at 9:10 PM

Two-term presidents historically suffer from voters' six-year itch, when the president’s party loses a substantial number of House and Senate seats after a half dozen years in office.

But Democrats think it might be different in 2014.

National Journal obtained a confidential memo from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) which argues that his party is in a much stronger political position to start the 2014 campaign than in either of the last two cycles.

Israel directly rebuts the conventional wisdom that House Republicans have a near-lock on their majority at least until the next redistricting of congressional seats in 10 years.

Writes Israel: "Redistricting has empowered the worst elements of the Republican Party, amplifying the extremist echo chamber and making the tea party Republican congress toxic to voters. Republicans redrew already-safe members into even more Republican districts, driving control of their party more to their base, forcing more primaries, and making it less likely that they can put forward a party agenda that appeals to Independents."

Democrats, who won a net eight seats last year, need to win 17 more to retake control of the House. It’s a tough goal but, they are energized with new promises from President Obama to raise money, campaign vigorously, and even help recruit candidates.

Last year, Obama focused exclusively on his re-election campaign. But now, his former campaign operation — rechristened as Organizing for Action — has pledged to bring its grassroots forces to winning more seats for Democrats in the midterm elections.

Whether Israel is spinning a best-case scenario to buck up his House colleagues remains to be seen. But a deeply unpopular Republicans Party facing an energized Democratic Party and a president intent on sealing his legacy will certainly make it an exciting midterm election campaign.

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