Nancy Pelosi: The once and future speaker? Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
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.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Bush vs. Clinton in 2016 is the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The latent sexism of the male marriage proposal
- This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality
- 10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
Subscribe to the Week