Added 2748 days ago in Opinion — Heading toward this fall’s House races, Democrats are upbeat on the heels of their three recent special-election upsets. Republicans, meanwhile, are struggling to regroup.

Bill Foster is one of three Democrats who turned politics upside down in the last three months by winning election to the House in conservative districts that Republicans had long held. By nearly any standard, his victory in the exurban Illinois district that House Speaker Dennis Hastert previously represented did not fit the standard campaign playbook.

If one outside factor pushed Foster over the top in his 53 percent to 47 percent win on March 8, it probably was the encouragement, advice, and abundant advertising from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "The DCCC's help was absolutely crucial," Foster said in a recent interview in the Speaker's Lobby outside the House chamber. "It might have made a 5-point difference."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the DCCC chairman, emphasizes that the House Democrats' successes in the recent special elections were driven by far more than just Republican failures, as many in the news media have suggested. Although eager to credit the individual candidates for their wins, he also attributes the outcome to changes he has made to centralize operations at the campaign committee, where he took control after the party's pickup of 30 House seats in 2006. And he contends that the results bode well for the November election, despite the historical pattern that a party that scores a big gain in House seats usually suffers losses in the next cycle.

"When I took over as chairman, I was determined to stay on the offensive and increase the majority," Van Hollen said in a May 15 interview. "We don't need to hunker down or circle the wagons."

Van Hollen pushes an aggressive campaign strategy that seeks to keep the pressure on GOP candidates. "It's absolutely necessary to inform voters of opposition research," he said. Republicans have complained that Democrats have overreached and leveled some unfair charges, but Van Hollen maintains that the DCCC's more hands-on approach to campaign tactics and voter turnout were instrumental in the wins by Foster and the party's other recent special-election candidates.

Seats at Risk:

Posted by ChrisAndrews72
120 Votes
1 Comment
Who's going to take control this election year?
Dem. W.H., Senate, House
Rep. W.H., Senate, House
Dem. W.H. Only
Rep. W.H. Only
Dem. W.H., Senate
Rep. W.H., Senate
Dem. W.H., House
Rep. W.H., House
This is not a scientific survey, click here to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding and voting descrepencies.
User Comments
Posted 2748 days ago
0 up votes, 0 down votes
This depends on who the Democrats have running for President. Obama will turn away the majority of voters. Will they stay home, vote Republican for President and Democrat for other offices or will they vote against Obama and his supporters? If they vote against Obama & his supporters, Republicans sweep Washington in NOV.
The elections they have won are people who refuse to support Obama and are more Republican than the Republicans. If the left continues to rule the Democrats, most of America will leave.
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