Midterm Countdown: Both Parties Say They'll Take the House

Obama campaigns for struggling Democrats; GOP sees "unprecedented wave."

Oct. 24, 2010— -- With just nine days to go until the midterm election, the leaders of both parties claim they will have control of the House of Representatives when all the votes are counted.

Someone is wrong.

The Republican party chairman Michael Steele said there is a "vibration" out there in the race for House control.

"I think you're going to see a wave, an unprecedented wave, on Election Day that's going to surprise a lot of people," Steele said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

On ABC's "This Week," Democratic National Committee head Tim Kaine didn't exude the same confidence of his counterpart, but still expressed optimism.

"It's all about turnout and ground game, and we're seeing good early voting trends and we -- we've got work to do, but we think we can do it," he said.

Obama Hits Five States in Four Days Campaigning for Democrats

After a busy run of four days, President Obama took today off, but is scheduled to be back on the campaign trail Monday, visiting Rhode Island as he pleads for Democrats to vote.

"In 2008, you said, 'Yes, we can' -- in 2010 you've got to say, 'Yes, we can,'" the president said Saturday night at a rally in Minnesota.

Democrats claim to have closed the so-called "enthusiasm gap," but that doesn't mean they can win all their vulnerable seats.

Sarah Palin warned Republicans at a rally in Florida that it is not time to get complacent, but already mainstream Republicans are crediting the tea party for what they expect to be a landslide.

"They are adding to Republican votes and they're going to help us win control of the House. And they are going to help us make major gains in the Senate," former Bush White House official Ed Gillespie said on ABC's This Week.

Midterm Elections: Obama Hits Campaign Trail Trying to Turn GOP Momentum

Obama spends most of this week rolling out some small business initiatives and next weekend has four rallies scheduled for his closing argument.

The president toured five states in four days -- Oregon, Washington state, California, Nevada and finally Minnesota -- in an attempt to stifle "Democratic fatigue" in a number of tight races before the Nov. 2 elections.

At a rally Saturday in Minneapolis, the president stumped for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, who will be facing off against Republican Tom Emmer and independent Tom Horner.

"All they've got is the same old stuff that they were peddling over the last decade," Obama said. "I just don't want to relive the past. The other side is betting on amnesia. It is up to you to show them that you have not forgotten."

Discontent over unemployment -- still stagnant at 10 percent -- and the state of the economy has turned to anger among voters across the country. This is causing a number of Democrats to fight in increasingly tight races against their rivals.

Kaine said on ABC's "This Week" today that the Democrats' new push for energy is working, and the party may be able to hold control of the House.

ABC News Political Director Amy Walter said she doubted that Democrats would be able to turn things around.

"Races may tighten, but Republicans are still leading," ABC News Political Director Amy Walter said. "It is very difficult to see how the Democrats can hold the House. There are just too many seats in play that Democrats hold. There are too many Democratic incumbents right now who are polling under 50 percent."

Obama's swing through the West is critical to the Democrats, who need to hold onto seats in three traditionally blue states -- California, Nevada and Washington -- in order to hold onto control of the Senate.

Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader currently seeking a fifth term and an early Obama supporter, had the president's full support at a rally on Friday night. Obama is seeking to rally energy around Reid, who is up against tea party favorite Sharon Angle.

Midterm Elections: Sarah Palin Warns 'It Ain't Over Until It's Over'

"We've just begun," Obama said Friday in Nevada. "We're just in the first quarter. I can't have you tired now."

Speaking Saturday in California on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is facing newcomer Carly Fiorina, Obama reaffirmed the need for Democrats to get out and vote.

"All of you have got to vote, because if everybody who fought for change in 2008 turns out this time, we will win this election," Obama said.

Meanwhile, Republicans are banking on a big victory in the House and have sent out the big guns to get it. This week saw former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigning in Maryland for Republican former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, and Sarah Palin at a tea party rally in Arizona.

Even Newsweek magazine used a take-off of the iconic 2008 red, white and blue Obama poster, now using John Boehner, the likely new speaker of the House if the GOP takes control, with the caption "Change Is Coming... Again."

Though Republicans seem confident of a House victory, Palin warned Saturday that the party should not get ahead of itself.

"It ain't over until it's over these last 10 days. We can't be thinking we've got it in the bag," Palin said Saturday at a fundraising rally in Florida. "We can't get cocky; we got to keep on working extremely hard. We got to leave dancing to stars."

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