How House Lawmakers Are Pitching Themselves to Voters
For a study in how House Democrats and Republicans are approaching voters heading into November, look no further than the pitches each party made during the presidential conventions.
On the one hand there's the Republican approach: Put young members of Congress and a coterie of diverse candidates front and center, talk about your status as Washington outsider and play up the merits of free enterprise.
"The America I know is grounded in the determination found in patriots and pioneers, in small business owners with big ideas," said Mia Love, a House candidate in Utah.
Love was one of 11 House candidates who spoke in Tampa, compared to the three Democratic House candidates who spoke in Charlotte.
Republicans had more potential lawmakers speaking, but the Democratic representatives who had stage time outnumbered Republicans almost 3 to 1--29 House Democrats to 11 House Republicans at their respective conventions, which brings us to the Democrats' approach: Shine a spotlight on your leaders, criticize the opposition and ask voters to put you back in the majority.
"Not a single House Republican voted for the law that brought our economy back from the brink," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi made the hard sell to voters. "The American dream is on the ballot. ... Vote for strong Democratic majorities in the House and Senate," she said.
Even Mitt Romney wants to distance himself from House Republicans while Democrats are united, said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Jesse Ferguson.
"The single best proof that the House Republican brand has become toxic is that, even Mitt Romney gave them the stiff-arm at his convention," Ferguson said. "He did his best to not be seen with them."
Republicans are content with the counterpoint and argue that their approach was geared toward getting more Republicans elected.
"Republicans talked about creating American jobs, and Democrats talked about giving Nancy Pelosi her job back," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay. "That's the contrast."
Photo: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (left) and Republican House candidate in Utah Mia Love speak their respective parties' conventions. (AP Photos)