Republicans in the 2010 elections shouldn't pop open their champagne bottles just yet, according to the Democrats' top House campaign official, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Despite talk around Washington that Republicans will take control of the House this year, Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, asserted Friday that it is "very clear that Democrats will retain their majority" in November.
Speaking at the National Press Club, Van Hollen said he was confident of Democratic successes in an election that he sought to frame as a choice between moving forward or returning to a Bush-like agenda, such as the one set out by House Minority Leader, John Boehner. "America is facing a very stark choice: Do we continue down the path toward recovery?" Van Hollen said. "Or do we return to the economic policies that resulted in catastrophic job losses and brought our economy to the brink of collapse?"
The DCCC and Van Hollen are also banking on the fact that moderate voters will be the ones who will decide the big races in swing states. He said that many of the Republican candidates who won their primary with votes from their party base are too far to the right to win undecided voters. "Americans are going to be turned off by the outrageous rhetoric on the right," he said. "It's a turn off to the sensible center and the people who constitute the key, independent voters in these swing districts."
According to Van Hollen, the DCCC has a cash advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee which will help bolster Democrats' campaigns. [See who is donating to Van Hollen's campaign.]
President Obama and former Democratic President Bill Clinton will continue to work with campaigns around the country, he said.
In response to a question about negative attacks, he said, Democrats will do whatever they have to in order to clearly distinguish themselves from their Republican opponents.