WASHINGTON (CBS) — Talk about giving up early.
Before many voters even started heading to the polls, Democratic sources on Tuesday began leaking excerpts of party talking points to news outlets such as Washington Post and Huffington Post, most notably revealing a lack of expectation that Democrats will be able to hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives.
Instead, the language focuses more on the efforts and money spent by the party, stating that Democrats “are more competitive today than in previous comparative mid-term elections and in the best position possible for success”.
The text also shows hints at an “it could have been worse” strategy going into Tuesday evening, with one point summarizing that “as recently as six weeks ago, there were predictions that Democrats would lose the House, the Senate and all of the major governorships. Now, we are competitive on all three fronts.”
The full list of talking points appears below.
Talking Points: Election Day
Overcoming Midterm Challenges
· Democrats knew that 2010 would be an uphill battle for three reasons: 1) the party of the President historically loses seats in midterm elections; 2) too many people are looking for work or struggling to get by as a result of 8 years of irresponsible economic policies (and despite creating more private sector jobs in the last 8 months than President Bush did in 8 years); and 3) the sheer number of seats we’re defending this year as a result of the successes of 2006 and 2008, including 49 Democratic Representatives on the ballot this year whose districts John McCain won in 2008.
· But as a result of the hard work of the President, Democratic campaigns, the DNC, OFA, coordinated campaigns, campaign committees, and committed Democratic volunteers, our candidates are more competitive today than in previous comparative mid-term elections and in the best position possible for success.
· Despite these historic and economic headwinds, Democrats are now positioned to hold onto the Senate and have prevented Republicans from yet locking down the seats they need to secure the House.
· As recently as six weeks ago, there were predictions that Democrats would lose the House, the Senate and all of the major governorships. Now, we are competitive on all three fronts.
· We have great candidates running great races. Building off of the work Democratic candidates have done this election season, the DNC has now spent or raised an unprecedented $115 million for candidates and campaigns this year – including nearly $24 million dollars in disbursements to 20 battleground states across the country to ensure that Democratic campaigns have all the resources they need to get out the vote.
· Because of this unprecedented midterm effort – which includes DNC/OFA staff and/or volunteers in all 50 states and 435 Congressional districts, cutting edge new media tools, paid media targeting core Democratic voters and first-time 2008 voters, and the largest ground game in the history of midterm elections – we are confident that our voters will be going to the polls today.
· While the Republican Party has had to shut down its deployment program and rely on tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed special interest donations from shadowy front groups, Democrats have raised millions of dollars from everyday Americans, made millions of calls and knocked on millions of doors in the closing days of the election.
· Over the past six months, we’ve made over 80 million voter contacts. That’s twice as many as Republicans have made during the entire year.
Overcoming the Enthusiasm Gap
· Our efforts have made a difference. Notwithstanding one of the most advantageous political climates in decades, Democrats have closed the enthusiasm gap, and the so-called Republican “tidal wave” has failed to manifest itself in the early vote.
· On a variety of key metrics – from fundraising to GOTV to early voting numbers – Democrats have shown that they are invested in this election far more than the pundits or the prognosticators would have ever believed.
· Since Labor Day, more than 250,000 people – from Boston to Los Angeles to Columbus and Las Vegas — have turned out to hear the President lay out the choice in this election. Hundreds of thousands more volunteers and voters have watched the President’s rallies via live stream.
· After the President’s rallies – in states like Pennsylvania and California – Democratic candidates have not only seen a bump in the polls, we have also seen an increased number of volunteers and a boost in voter enthusiasm. Just over the last weekend volunteers contacted over 6 million voters at the doors and on the phones.
· In the last several months, the so-called “enthusiasm gap” has closed significantly.
Polling by Ipsos/Reuters shows Democrats have narrowed the gap, with a poll in mid-October showing that 72% of Democrats rated themselves an 8-10 on a scale on a 10-point scale of likelihood to vote, up from 66% in late July. (Ipsos/Reuters, 10/11) While the poll finds Republicans are still somewhat more likely to vote than Democrats, overall, the gap has decreased by 15 points since July. (Ipsos/Reuters, 7/25)
· And we’ve closed the gap on the generic ballot.
o In the most recent Washington Post/ABC and Pew polls, Democrats closed the gap on the traditional ballot among likely voters, from -13 points in early September to -4 points today. And in the Pew poll, Democrats actually lead Republicans on the generic Congressional ballot among registered voters.
· We also saw a clear positive trend for Democrats in the early vote data coming in from across the country. In fact, in our key states and targeted races, Democrats outpaced Republicans in early voting in a host of key states including such stateds as Nevada, Ohio and Iowa.
Republicans Not Well Regarded
· The American people remain frustrated with the state of the economy and that makes things even more difficult for Democrats, who would have faced electoral challenges even in the best of times.
The party of the President tends to lose seats during midterm elections. But that trend should not be confused with a surge in popularity for Republicans. After all, Republicans favorability continues to lag behind Democrats and Republicans are less popular today than Democrats were when they took control of Congress in 2006 or when GOP took control in 1994.
· In a recent NBC/WSJ poll, the Republicans favorability rating stood at 31%-42%, compared to Democrats’ 38%-45% favorability rating. And the Republicans’ approval ratings lag far behind that of the President who had a favorability rating of 48% to 43%.
· After spending 20 months playing politics and failing to find common ground to solve the nation’s problems, it is no surprise that the Republican brand is so low.
· Regardless of the final results, and because of the historical and economic headwinds, we know that Republicans will gain seats on Tuesday. With that gain comes a shared responsibility to govern.
· Unfortunately, Republicans are already ignoring that responsibility. Instead of taking this opportunity to propose real solutions to create jobs and grow the economy, House and Senate Republican leaders continue to say that they are not willing to compromise on issues of importance to the American people and they are more interested in spending the next two years working to deny President Obama a second term than they are in working on the issues the American people care about.
· The President and the Democratic Party will continue to work to improve the economy and to fight to move America forward, regardless of the outcome of today’s elections.
· And while we continue to face historical headwinds going into the midterm election, we are confident that the hard work of Democratic candidates across the country and the efforts of the President, the DNC/OFA, the campaign committees will put these candidates in the best possible positions to win.
Getting Out the Vote Today
· We are urging Democrats across America to get out and go to the polls today. Because all over the country, there are races that will be decided by a few thousand or even a few hundred votes. So every vote counts and we won’t be taking any vote for granted.
· We’re going to keep working hard to get out the vote until the last polls close, and I am confident that we can hold onto the Senate, hold onto the House, and win important races all across the country.
(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)