Democrats in fight to hold onto House seats in November


Washington (CNN) — Weighed down by a president with a sub-500 approval rating, Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman Chris Van Hollen will lay out the party’s plan of attack for November elections at a Friday news conference.

The Maryland congressman, facing a resurgent Republican Party, “will discuss why he believes Democrats deserve to win the off-year elections and how they plan to do it, the legislative agenda as passed so far including health care, financial rescue, Wall Street reform, student loans, Afghanistan action, and Iraq withdrawal,” according to a statement released by the campaign.

As part of a grassroots effort, House Democrats are shooting for their supporters to knock on more than 200,000 doors nationwide.

The initiative comes as President Obama’s approval rating stands at 47 percent, with 51 percent saying they disapprove of how he is handling his job, which ties the record he set in March, when 51 percent also gave him a thumbs-down.

According to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released this month, 50 percent of all voters say they are likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the president.

A top House Republican boasted Thursday that Republicans are already positioned to take control of the House, and argued theDemocrats‘ political position will only worsen as election day approaches.

California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the top recruiter of GOP candidates and chief Republican Whip in the House, told reporters there are “more than enough seats” to win, and added, “I think the map is getting bigger by the day.”

McCarthy, who has traveled to more than 50 districts so far during the August recess, said the economy and the President’s poll numbers are dragging down Democrats’ chances of keeping their majority.

On Obama, the GOP leader predicted, “I think his approval rating will be even lower” by November and said the overall size of the political playing field will expand as a result.

McCarthy said over 80 House seats are now in play, noting that is more than twice the number Republicans need to take the majority.

Ticking through many of the competitive races across the country, McCarthy predicted even more seats currently leaning Democratic — like Rep David Wu’s in Oregon and Rep Carolyn McCarthy’s in New York — will begin shifting toward the Republican column.

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