“President Barack Obama on Saturday blamed Americans’ ‘fear and frustration’ for the fierce, negative, anything-goes midterm election cycle that threatens to upend his agenda.
“‘Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared,’ Obama said at a small Democratic fundraiser in Boston. ‘And the country’s scared. And they have good reason to be.'”
“Democratic strategists acknowledged they are abandoning a dozen House seats the party now holds, as they try to salvage their majority in the chamber by shoring up candidates with better chances.
“The emerging battlefield, two weeks before Election Day, is almost entirely in districts now held by Democrats. It includes about 40 districts where both the Republican and Democratic House campaign arms are running television ads or have reserved TV time.
“Beyond those, Republicans are on the air in a dozen additional districts, while Democrats are running ads in two…
“‘The field is essentially expanding by the day,’ said Ken Spain, spokesman for the GOP’s House campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee.”
“The long roster of House Democrats who were outraised by their GOP opponents — a list that totals at least 40 — is just the latest indication that cash is following GOP momentum just weeks before voters head to the polls…
“[E]ven Democrats in powerful senior committee posts who are usually able to dip into large infusions of cash were outmatched. National Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall of West Virginia, Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton of Missouri, and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, a senior member on the House Financial Services Committee, all raised less.
“With a collection of GOP-friendly outside groups — including the Karl Rove-linked American Crossroads — already set to unleash a $50 million ad campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee expanding its independent expenditure campaign to $50 million, the widening cash flow to Republican challengers is a disturbing development for Democrats who are struggling to stem the incoming GOP tide.”
“As if embattled Congressional Democrats did not have enough on their hands, some are opening up a new front in their fight to save their seats — against Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House and a leader of their own party…
“[I]n the debate here on Thursday, [Blue Dog Jim] Marshall promised, ‘There will be enough conservative Democrats to assure that she will not be the speaker.’
“His Republican challenger, Austin Scott, retorted that the only way to guarantee that Ms. Pelosi would not be speaker would be to vote Mr. Marshall out.
“Dennard Scoggins, 69, a retired school principal attending the debate here to support Mr. Scott, bore that out. ‘Mr. Marshall is a good man, but he just is a —’ Mr. Scoggins said, stopping to search for the right word. ‘A Democrat.'”