Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz offered a bright forecast for her party in the midterm elections during an interview with NBC News Sunday, shrugging off predictions that the party could lose seats and even possibly control of the Senate.
“I would, and will, match up ground game and our turnout operation, which ran circles around the Republicans in 2012 and in 2008, any day of the week,” Wasserman Schultz told NBC News’ David Gregory on Meet the Press. “We have countless elections now that Democrats have won because the Republicans have nominated extremists that their voters reject.”
Democrats, particularly in the Senate, are facing a number of tough races in conservative-leaning states. The party that occupies the White House tends to lose seats in midterm elections, particularly when the president’s approval ratings are low, as Obama’s are now. Wasserman Schultz chose her words carefully – recently the Democratic Party’s base has tended to turn out much stronger in presidential election years like 2008 and 2012 than in midterm election years. In March, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver wrote that Republicans were a slight favorite to retake the Senate.
Gregory also asked Wasserman Schultz if Obama should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and whether the issue would hurt Democrats come elections in the Fall. The Obama administration recently said that the decision to approve the pipeline would be delayed until after the midterm elections.
“I think he has to continue to take a close look at it. The environmental concerns are legitimate; the economic concerns are legitimate,” Wasserman-Schultz said. “As a member of Congress who represents hundreds of thousands of people in south Florida, I want to make sure that the right decision is arrived at. And that the president makes that decision carefully and he doesn’t factor politics into his decision, which I don’t think he is.”