Republicans aim to take control of the Senate and rid the White House of President Obama

By Caitlin Huey-Burns

In Quest to reclaim House, Dems target key Districts

While Republicans aim to take control of the Senate and rid the White House of President Obama, Democrats are plotting a counterrevolution to reclaim the lower chamber — and have a plan in place to do it.

It starts with candidate recruitment, the painstaking chore that is often the difference between victory and defeat. Under the leadership of New York Rep. Steve Israel, Democrats have recruited candidates for 60 Republican seats or in districts that will be open in 2012.

The magic number of seats the Democrats need to capture is 25, and even Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, acknowledges it won’t be easy.

To start, they have focused on Republican-held districts where voters backed Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004. Nineteen fit that description, all located in strategically important states. Voters in these districts — in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington — have proven that they are receptive to a Democratic presidential candidate. Now the trick for House Democrats is to get voters there to pull the lever for a candidate who will support the president’s legislative record. That’s easier said than done, as Israel freely acknowledges.

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Some of the names the Democrats are targeting are familiar to political insiders, especially outspoken conservatives such as freshman Rep. Allen West (pictured) of Florida’s 22nd District.

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