"I think this could be one of the most challenging environments incumbents have ever had to run in," Israel added, "The good news for us is they've got 50, 60 incumbents that they've got to protect, and we estimate that we're going to have 12-15 Frontliners that we've got to protect. Their field to defend is much larger than our field." Israel pointed to other encouraging signs for their attempt to regain their House majority, noting that the DCCC has bested their GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, in overall fundraising for the year. The committee has also paid off its debilitating $19 million debt. Israel pointed to several recently-conducted polls showing Democrats with an advantage on the generic Congressional ballot as evidence that Democrats have made up gains with both independent and older voters since last November. "I think it's safe to say that we have gone from a gale force wind against us to a sustained wind at our backs," said Israel. Exactly a year ago Democrats woke up after the election depressed. We were doubtful about our ability to raise the next dollar, to recruit the next candidate, to win the next seat. There has been a fundamental transformation of the political landscape since that time one year ago." "Unfortunately, the only people feeling gale force winds are the middle class families struggling with the devastating effects of Washington Democrats' job-crushing policies," NRCC spokeswoman Joanna Burgos responded.