The Democratic National Committee is circulating a memo on Capitol Hill that seems designed, above all else, to lessen the concerns among nervous lawmakers that they await a perilous fate in November's midterm elections.
The memo, penned by DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse, uses a vast array of polling data to argue that 2010 is a far different political landscape than 1994 or 2006, when Democrats and Republicans respectively suffered major losses and surrendered control of Congress.
The entire memo can be found here. The main talking points:
-- President Obama is much more popular than President Bush was in 2006 or President Clinton was in 1994.
-- Similarly, more voters trust the President and Congressional Democrats to lead the country than trust Republicans to do so.
-- In fact, on what may be the most important issue of this election -- the economy -- Democrats lead Republicans in voter trust, and do so by a similar margin to Democrats in 2006 and a larger margin than Republicans in 1994.
-- And voters don't just trust Democrats on the economy; they support Democrats' legislative efforts to improve the American economy and to move our country forward in other ways. And voters are more likely to support candidates who back the Democratic agenda.
-- Despite voter support for Democrats on key issue tests like the economy, some polls do show narrow support for Republicans over Democrats on the generic congressional ballot. However, Republicans hold only a tenuous lead in such polls, with generic support for Republicans this year nowhere near that of Democrats in 2006.
-- Similarly, Republican cheerleaders have cited polling showing support for GOP control of Congress as an electoral boon; however, such polling has proven an unreliable indicator of electoral results.
The key takeaway, however, isn't any specific data Woodhouse cites; it's the fact that the memo had to be sent -- and leaked -- at all. On Wednesday evening, the White House sent reporters a separate election-related document showing all of the campaign work that the President and his team have done on behalf of House members.
That document was distributed to quiet concerns that have percolated throughout the Democratic Party since Sunday, when White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted the obvious: the House is in play. The DNC's goal is slightly different -- they want to reframe the entire debate, which currently rests on the assumption that 2010 will be a bloodbath. But the underlying message is the same: Democrats are fortified, unified and in better shape than the doomsayers suggest.
UPDATE: The Republican National Committee's response, per RNC spokesman Doug Heye:
Friends – by now you may have heard that the DNC has issued a memo entitled “Putting Voter Sentiment and Recent Polls in their Proper Perspective.”
Below is an alternate version that better captures the Democrats latest attempt dismiss voter anger with the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda.
Please take a look below. Thanks.