Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., comments about the vote on the defense spending bill and his failed amendment that would have cut funding to the National Security Agency's program that collects the phone records of U.S. citizens and residents, at the Capitol, Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite/ap

GOP shutdown failure gives Dems 2014 optimism

The shutdown standoff created a tsunami of outrage against the GOP. And Dems are hoping to ride the wave all the way into a House majority in 2014.

“What’s happened over the past two weeks or so is a sea change,” Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Hardball on Thursday night. “…This shutdown may have improved our prospects toward winning the House.”

The DCCC told msnbc that it raised a record-breaking $8.4 million in September, the month leading up to the shutdown. That’s almost double what the group raised in August. Of that campaign war chest, over $2 million came from donations in the six days after Speaker John Boehner threatened to shut down the government and Sen. Ted Cruz delivered his 21-hour faux-filibuster trying to tie defunding Obamacare (which didn’t happen) to any spending deal. Israel said in a statement that the surge was attributable to the “Republicans’ reckless shutdown.”

The non-partisan Cook Political Report even said the spending crisis made 14 House seats more winnable in 2014. The Dems would need to win 17 seats to bag the majority. Democrats are also defending 20 incumbent seats. The ratings changes were as followed:

CA-31 Gary Miller (R) Toss Up to Lean D
CA-41 Mark Takano (D) Likely D to Solid D
CO-06 Mike Coffman (R) Lean R to Toss Up
FL-22 Lois Frankel (D) Likely D to Solid D
MI-03 Justin Amash (R) Solid R to Likely R
MI-07 Tim Walberg (R) Likely R to Lean R
MT-AL Steve Daines (R) Solid R to Likely R
NE-02 Lee Terry (R) Likely R to Lean R
NJ-02 Frank LoBiondo (R) Solid R to Likely R
NJ-03 Jon Runyan (R) Solid R to Likely R
NM-02 Steve Pearce (R) Solid R to Likely R
NY-23 Tom Reed (R) Likely R to Lean R
OH-06 Bill Johnson (R) Likely R to Lean R
PA-08 Mike Fitzpatrick (R) Likely R to Lean R
WV-03 Nick Rahall (D) Lean D to Toss Up

“Democrats still have a very uphill climb to a majority, and it’s doubtful they can sustain this month’s momentum for another year,” noted Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman. “But Republicans’ actions have energized Democratic fundraising and recruiting efforts.”

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed by a 22-point margin (53% to 31% ) that the majority of the  public blames the GOP versus Obama  for the shutdown , which ended Wednesday night after Congress struck an 11th hour deal.

In addition, the public said it wants a Democrat-controlled House in 2014 by an eight point margin, 47% for the Dems and 39% for the GOP. It was just a three-point margin a month ago.

The GOP fight over whether to link changes to Obamacare to a larger spending deal has left the GOP fractured and the Tea Party showing no signs of surrender. Still, Mike Shields, the Republican National Committee’s chief of staff insisted to the Huffington Post that still “something dramatic” would have to happen for the Dems to take over the House.

Israel acknowledged on Hardball that while Democrats seem to be benefiting from the GOP’s loss, it’s not all roses. The shutdown has “damaged the economy. It cost the economy $24 billion and people are going to remember this,” he said.

Steve Israel

GOP shutdown failure gives Dems 2014 optimism