DCCC launches effort to defend vulnerable incumbents

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"While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members. These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts," said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) in a statement.

The inaugural list of Frontline members includes 26 vulnerable Democrats, many of whom faced tough contests in 2012 and remain top targets for the GOP in 2014, including Reps. John Barrow (Ga.) and Ron Barber (Ariz.), among others.

A majority of those in the program are freshmen, typically some of the party's most vulnerable and least-established members. The group may change as circumstances shift in Democratic districts nationwide.

House Democrats face a difficult road in 2012, after Republicans, through redistricting, managed to solidify their hold on a number of seats nationwide, leaving fewer available for Democrats to play offense. Four seats currently held by Republicans lean blue, while 15 seats currently held by Democrats lean red.

Democrats have been reluctant to predict a House takeover in 2014, but they insist they'll aggressively pursue every seat they believe they can win. In the meantime, the Frontline program offers a handful of members much-needed defensive help in advance of Election Day.

According to the release on the program, Frontline members must "sign a memorandum of understanding that requires Members to meet aggressive fundraising goals, accelerate volunteer and recruitment efforts, and increase their online networking."

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), who was previously a Frontline member, will lead the program this year.