DCCC Chairman: Enough Seats In Play to Win House

Rep. Israel, D-N.Y., says Democrats have 60 recruits in 60 competitive districts
3:00 | 10/14/11

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Transcript for DCCC Chairman: Enough Seats In Play to Win House
Late yesterday -- an -- I had a chance to talk to Steve Israel the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who says now that the house is officially -- take -- look. And joining us now from Capitol Hill we have congressman Steve Israel the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Congressman thanks for joining us. Happy to be with you. All right let's take a quick look I'm looking down at this release you guys senate He thinks -- sixty seats in play. -- He say to get the 25 seats back to you need to take control of congress. I'm looking at a lot of these districts though some of them are little easier for Democrats and others but tell me this. If the president is struggling at the top of the ticket. How do you think these candidates are going to be able to win in some of these tough states especially -- look at Indiana or Ohio and. Particular. Sure well first of all look we need 25 seats to win back the house that is tantalizingly close. We have sixteen recruits in sixty competitive districts that we have twice the number of districts in play. Then we need now there is no question that this is an anti incumbent year. And -- the problem for the Republicans is they've got about sixty to eighty incumbents that they have to defend. We have rolled out today. A recruiting list of sixty people these are onto the -- they're small business people. -- -- the son of immigrants who became a NASA astronaut traveled on the space shuttle. These are people who have spent their entire lives solving problems. And they're going to be very appealing their perfect fits in their district they reflect the American dream -- want to reignite the American dream for the American people. That's where they're gonna win. -- one of the things that Republicans did last time around it as you well know is they put -- put almost -- candidate almost every district I think there were north of 400 districts. Competitive why is sixty going to be enough should you be looking and even water Plainfield because you never know at the end of the day what's going to be a play especially in a presidential year. Well you're -- the correct are in fact our target was to have at least sixteen play. You know again we 25 He -- sixteen play by the end of the year we are three months ahead of schedule. But we're not settling for sixty we're gonna keep going -- we hope to reach us 75 by the end of the year. We will have as many districts in fact we'll have more districts in -- -- we need -- to win back the house. This is a very volatile environment. House Republicans have to go back to their districts and defend the indefensible I would trying to -- Medicare in order fund tax cuts for big oil companies the more they have to defend that. The greater our chances of winning in districts across the country. -- as you know quite well this weekend is the official date when candidates are required to his list of fund raising with the Federal Election Commission. And I look at these sixteen candidates. In -- sixty districts. Money and impressed with what they've been able to do for the quarter. Well some of our candidates have absolutely knocked our socks off in terms of their fundraising ability. And Custer New Hampshire race extraordinary amount of money. People in New Hampshire don't like. Republican that they elected they think that -- use to extreme they want -- moderate alternative. They want a better alternative so she's done very well. Look some of our candidates are going to cut them a late start because of redistricting redistricting create -- fairly fluid. Environment. But the fact the matter is by December 31 at the end of the year you'll see. Democrats across the board small business people entrepreneur or is NASA astronauts to three star generals. Posting very healthy fundraising and now. So you know this map better than almost anyone congressman Israel out of these 6060 districts how many of them. With the presidents of the United States be welcome into the health campaign for the house and. Well I can tell you and not only -- sixty districts but the the national map there -- nineteen districts that have a Republican incumbent that voted not just a President Obama. But for Senator Kerry in 2004. There -- 43 districts across the country that have a Republican incumbent that voted for President Obama in 2008. Not much saying that every single one of those districts is going to reelect President Obama they may not. But I will tell you that we need only 25 of them to -- the house Democrat and I'm very confident. That will get at least that -- -- in the last minute here you mentioned this is an anti incumbent year you know all too well what -- approval rating numbers are for congress somewhere right around ten or 12%. Should you be worried about your own incumbents even if you can pick up some of these -- you may lose more incumbents then you're thinking about right now. The it looked good news for house Democrats is it is an anti incumbent year the Republicans have the sixty to eighty incumbents that they've got to defend. We have to separate and independent polls in the past 48 hours that show Democrats leading generic ballot. So the good news for house Democrats is it is an anti incumbent year and the Republicans have more -- to defend. The challenging news for us is that we also have incumbents that we have to defend although far fewer. Mr. we will take nothing for granted we've got between twelve and fifteen Frontline incumbents who represent tough districts that -- -- in 2010. We anticipate them being tough in 2012. We're gonna give me everything that they need and they're -- -- -- actually all they need to do -- go home and remind voters they stood up to defend Medicare. The Republicans tried to terminate Medicare that makes -- hot environment much more palatable for Democrats. Congressman -- He mentioned some of these things are relatively familiar their former members of congress on this list Carol Shea-Porter. Dan Maffei and Kirk Patrick what did you think that -- folks that have already been rejected by voters a good idea. This anti incumbent mood at that -- is the is the thinking that. Voters recognize they made a mistake. Well let's take and the fate for example New York 25. He was defeated by less than 600 votes in 2010 and a -- just a brutal environment where you have the Coke Brothers and others -- sweeping into these districts under the Citizens United their ruling by the Supreme Court. Stealing elections with the -- a -- advertising. We will not allow that to happen again. And so you're talking about different terrain different environment in a presidential election there will be a surge -- younger voters. That north to the benefit of Democrats like and the -- by Carol -- And -- the benefit Democrats that the country. All right congressman Steve Israel Democrat from New York from Long Island. Thanks to -- -- represented appreciate it thank you so much. He does do well for -- Long Island project. I think -- all but here's what we know 25 seats that is the number today but you know this as well as anybody else that are open seats now because there are retirements. And these are conservative Democrats leaving very conservative districts and Oklahoma Indiana southern Illinois. So it's gonna in the end they think they're gonna -- to -- thirty seats and -- -- sixty candidates the others a year six this is probably not having enough right.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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