Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel said on Sunday it was too early to predict his party’s demise in the midterms.
Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to take back the House, but a difficult political climate and persistent dissatisfaction with the president has the party less than optimistic about its chances.
Israel said the president’s unpopularity doesn’t worry him because “we’re running against a Republican Congress whose job approval ratings are a fraction of that.”
Following a devastating House special election loss for the party last month, many prognosticators were predicting Democrats could even lose seats.
A recent CBS News poll showed Republicans are far more enthusiastic about the midterms than Democrats, but Israel said the poll offered a premature snapshot of the election. While he admitted Democrats do face a turnout challenge, he insisted that leaders are preparing for it.
"The two most important words were 'in November.' It's not November," he said. "We don't worry about the climate, we build out campaigns. There unquestionably is going to be an issue of voter drop-off, there always is."