DCCC Chairman Israel outlines Democrats' targets for new cycle

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But Democrats faced an uphill battle after redistricting solidified the partisan split in a number of states, making it more difficult for Democrats to win crossover support in many redrawn districts. They ultimately fell far short of the 25 seats they needed to net to flip control of the House, but did gain eight seats.

Israel said the committee had done a review of what went wrong in the previous cycle and that they have "a strong awareness of where we could do better," but declined to offer specifics.

He did indicate, however, that fundraising was an area for improvement. Without a presidential race for Republicans "to be worried about," Israel said he expected GOP outside groups to focus their efforts on congressional races in the upcoming cycle.

"We expect our caucus to be far more aggressive in making sure we have the resources to win," Israel said, adding that because there will be no member-on-member primaries this year, that will free up a number of lawmakers to help the entire caucus raise funds.

Democrats believe recruitment, too, will make the difference going forward, and Israel said the committee will have its third recruitment meeting for the 2014 cycle next week.

He also hinted at the demographic and partisan makeup of those districts Democrats will target: suburban, moderate, and with growing Hispanic populations, a demographic group Democrats overwhelmingly won at the presidential and congressional levels last cycle.

"Many of [the targeted districts] are in suburban areas, represented significantly by independent and moderate voters who've had it with Tea Party extremism. Many of them are in areas of the country, in areas of growing Latino communities where our candidates competed effectively although may have fallen short at the end of the day," he said.

The DCCC chairman also announced new leadership for the committee, with Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.) serving as chairman for candidate services, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.) as national finance chairwoman, Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) as D.C. finance chairman and Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) as national mobilization chairman.

Polis, Schwartz and Crowley all served in leadership positions with the committee last cycle, as well: Polis chaired the "Red to Blue" program, Schwartz chaired the recruiting effort and Crowley was national finance chairman.

In addition, Rep. Tim Walz (Minn.) will chair the DCCC's Frontline program, which supports vulnerable incumbents (of which Walz was a member last cycle); Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.) will chair the recruitment committee, along with vice-chairman Gary Peters (Mich.); and Reps. Richard Neal (Mass.), Jim Himes (Conn.) and Terri Sewell (Ala.) will be vice-chairmen of finance and will chair the committee's business council.