Democrats are beginning to rebound in their effort to hold onto the House and Senate in this fall's elections, Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenElizabeth Warren can unify Democrats and take back the White House Giuliani doubles down on Biden comments: 'I meant that he’s dumb' Meghan McCain shreds Giuliani for calling Biden a 'mentally deficient idiot' MORE said Thursday evening.

Biden asserted that the party has been able to reverse its slide toward the kind of wave election that would hand Republicans control of the House and, possibly, the Senate.

"The truth is we've turned things around," he said, according to a pool report at an Albuquerque, N.M., fundraiser for the Democratic candidate for governor. "Not enough, but we've turned it around."

Democrats have touted every glimmer of positive news in recent weeks as a sign of political recovery, if for no other reason than to project confidence going into the pivotal midterm contests. 

The Gallup tracking poll of the generic congressional ballot shows the two parties as basically tied the last two weeks, though district-by-district polling suggests that Republicans might be within striking distance of winning the 39 seats they need to claim control of the House.

But the vice president's comment also suggests an acknowledgement by the White House of just how bad things have been for the party, and how much ground is left to be made up in the four and a half weeks between now and Election Day.

Democratic leaders tend to believe that defining the election as an option between what Democrats have accomplished and what a Republican majority would mean as an alternative is key to victory.

"This is not a referendum on how people feel," Biden said, echoing rhetoric from President Obama and other Democrats about the choice facing voters.

Still, polling shows that the economy and jobs are at the forefront of voters' concerns as they cast their ballot.

"We have to go tell our story and understand that this is a choice," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday on PBS's "Newshour." Pelosi and Obama have worked to frame the election as a choice to step forward or return to past GOP policies.

"The American people love choice, and they will have a choice in this election," Pelosi said.