Diverse Democratic group aims for stars, seeks to win US House

October 14, 2011

What do farmers, former mayors and prosecutors along with military veterans,  business people and the son of migrant workers who grew up to become an astronaut all have in common?

They are among the scores of people from diverse walks of life who Democrats recruited to run for the House of Representatives in hopes of winning control of the chamber back from Republicans in next year’s election.

Democrats need a net gain of 25 seats in the 435-member House to capture the chamber, and are buoyed by recent polls that show Americans favor them over Republicans.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll of registered voters found that 48 percent said they would back Democrats, compared to 40 percent saying they would support Republicans, if the election were held now.

“With the wind now at our backs, we have strong Democratic candidates running in 60 Republican and open districts across the country,” Steve Israel, head of the House Democratic campaign committee, said this week in announcing that he had met his recruiting goal ahead of time.

Analysts say Democrats may pick up House seats in the November 2012 election, but not the 25 needed to take back control.

One of their biggest problems is President Barack Obama. His approval rating of only about 40 percent threatens to be a drag on their chances in individual House races.

“My best guess right now is that they pickup between zero and five seats,” said David Wasserman of the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

Such talk doesn’t dampen Democrats’ enthusiasm for their House contenders.

Their list is literally topped by Jose Hernandez,  a California native who grew up picking vegetables with his migrant parents. He later soared over the same fields as an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

In declaring his candidacy this week, Hernandez, 49, who left NASA in January after more than a decade of service, said he was proof that the American dream lives.

“I went from plowshares to the stars,” he was quoted as saying in a Democratic press release.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Pierre Ducharme (Hernandez and other members of space shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center in 2009)


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The dems are going to win big time. Republicans are wacked out. Ain’t no wacko gonna get elected president.

Posted by anneshelby | Report as abusive

The dems are going to win “big time”? I would venture to guess that Obama is going to to sweep the electoral vote as well.Hot flash: people voted their pocket books in the last election for president and will do so again. The kicker is that this will be a election with folks voting with empty pockets thanks to the democrats that robbed folks blind in the last three years.

Posted by jv54 | Report as abusive

jv54 and anneshelby – don’t think you are in touch with reality. The general election will be the same as last year – sweeping changes. Why on earth would this free country want to convert to socialism? The government has it all wrong – they work for us and we are not obligated to continue with their tax and spend mentality. They need to stick with their original charter.

Posted by tgtnft | Report as abusive