With 6 Days to Go, Democrats Try to Stop a GOP Blowout

Vice president Joe Biden campaigns for congressional candidate Ann Kuster in Nashua, N.H., Monday, Oct. 25, 2010.(AP Photo/Jim Cole) AP Photo/Jim Cole

Joe Biden
Vice president Joe Biden campaigns for congressional candidate Ann Kuster in Nashua, N.H., Monday, Oct. 25, 2010.
AP Photo/Jim Cole

New prognostications show Republicans easily overtaking the House next week, but Democrats are dispatching their top figures for a last round of campaigning and injecting fresh cash into the races, in an attempt to stave off a blowout.

Republicans could easily pick up 50 seats on Nov. 2, far more than the 39 needed to win the majority, according to the Hill. The newspaper's 2010 midterm election poll surveyed 17,000 likely voters in 42 toss-up districts, and the results mirror those of other recent projections.

Democrats face the potential of "a political bloodbath the size of which we haven't seen since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt," pollster Stuart Rothenberg wrote Tuesday.

Nate Silver at the New York Times projected yesterday that Republicans will gain 52 seats. "If Democrats were hoping for a late surge to improve their chances of retaining control of the House, there isn't any evidence of it yet," he wrote.

The CBS News Critical Contests analysis also shows Republicans in a strong position to take the House. CBS News show a net 33 seats Republicans are now favored to gain, plus 25 more toss-up races in Democratic seats remaining up for grabs. So if Republicans win in six of the 25 toss-ups, and they also net the 33 where we see them favored today, that would give the GOP the House.

Election 2010: Where Things Stand with One Week to Go
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Nevertheless, Vice President Joe Biden said at a fundraiser yesterday for Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop (N.Y.) that he expects Democrats to "keep the Senate and win the House." Like President Obama, Biden is hitting the campaign trail this week.

Biden continues his campaign stops today with a trip to Philadelphia to stump for Democrat Bryan Lentz, who is running to replace Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's seventh district (Sestak is now running for the Senate). Republican candidate Pat Meehan was expected to take the district, but recent polls show Meehan ahead by just a few points.

Lentz was recently caught in some controversy after acknowledging his campaign helped get a Tea Party candidate on the ballot in an attempt to siphon votes away from Meehan.

On the Senate side in Pennsylvania, Sestak still has a shot, but Republican Pat Toomey leads by five points in a new Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll. Other recent polls similarly show Toomey with a single-digit lead.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) today released a new television ad in Pennsylvania called "Corning." It spotlights the job losses College Township, Pennsylvania suffered after a Corning factory moved its operation to China. The ad points to Toomey's support for special trade status for China.

"Toomey voted for tax breaks that send American jobs overseas," a narrator says. "Pat Toomey. He's not for us."

Meanwhile, the DSCC released a second ad in West Virginia, blasting Republican Senate candidate John Raese for his comfortable life in Florida.

"The Raeses have a mansion in Palm Beach. And signed an official form calling Florida their home," a narrator says. "So maybe he should be Florida's Senator. Because John Raese just doesn't get us."

Recent polls show Raese with a slight lead over Democrat Joe Manchin, who is popular as governor of the state but has suffered from being tied to President Obama.

Republican and Democratic Senate candidates in both Wisconsin and Missouri are also up with new television ads.

In Wisconsin, Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold is trailing in recent polls his Republican challenger Ron Johnson. Feingold's latest ad relies on female Wisconsin voters to make the case for Feingold and against Johnson. The Republican, meanwhile, is running an ad that blasts Feingold as a party-line Democrat.

In Missouri, Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan released an ad highlighting her support from local newspapers, while Republican Rep. Roy Blunt is running an ad that says Carnahan "supports a failing Washington agenda." Recent polls show Blunt with a solid lead.

In California, a new SurveyUSA poll shows Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer leading Republican Carly Fiorina by five points. Fiorina, meanwhile, stayed overnight in the hospital Tuesday after suffering from an infection related to the reconstructive surgery she underwent in July after winning a battle with breast cancer.

As Election Day nears, both sides continue to pour money into the races, but Democratic-leaning third party groups are finally starting to catch up to Republican-leaning third party groups, the Washington Post reports. As recently as a few weeks ago, conservative groups were outspending left-leaning groups seven-to-one. Last week, however, nearly four of every 10 dollars spent by independent groups went toward helping Democrats. The left-leaning groups investing in the campaigns include labor unions, environmental groups and others.

When it comes to spending by the candidates themselves, it turns out Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans, according to the New York Times. Over all, Democratic candidates have outraised their Republican opponents by more than 30 percent in 109 competitive House races.



Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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