House Democrats are touting their work during the August recess, claiming their members held 1,800 district events to promote their accomplishments and bash Republicans.
The frenzied pace is a response to the growing sentiment among the political class that the Democrats’ majority is in danger this November. The party hopes to argue that the doomsday predictions in Washington do not reflect the reality across the country, where they say their candidates are gaining traction.
“House Democrats have proven that they know how to communicate with their constituents and demonstrate that their title and job description are one in the same: representative,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
In a memo to be released Thursday, House Democrats praised several members for holding more than a dozen events in their districts in August. They included Reps. Jim Himes (Conn.), Rush Holt (N.J.), Walt Minnick (Idaho), Gary Peters (Mich.) and Loretta Sanchez (Calif.), who are all in competitive races.
Republicans have accused Democrats of shying away from town hall-style meetings this year after the party was pilloried over its healthcare plan in events last August.
The National Republican Campaign Committee created a webpage headlined “Where Are the Dems” to needle their opponents about the lack of town halls and have relabeled the party’s “recovery summer” as “run-for-cover summer.”
With the economic recovery slowing and President Obama’s approval ratings slipping, political analysts are increasingly predicting that Republicans will win back the House in November. The Democrats hold a 39-seat edge, but a few prognosticators have suggested the GOP could pick up as many as 60 seats.
This year Democrats tried, with mixed success, to highlight one message per week during the August break, with events dedicated to promoting domestic manufacturing, small business legislation and the 75th anniversary of Social Security.
Yet they were hampered by distractions, including the prolonged and emotional debate over a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York.