House Democrats are heading into Tuesday’s midterms hoping that a swelling of Republican support does not crest into a tidal wave.
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Democratic leaders had spent much of 2013 playing offense, with thoughts of defying historic trends and retaking the lower chamber this year. Their optimism reached its apex after last year’s government shutdown left the Republicans badly bruised.
But Democrats have run into a perfect storm since then. Incumbents are retiring; the public is anxious about a fragile economy and foreign unrest; the perennial problem of low turnout among left-leaning groups in midterm elections persists; and President Obama’s approval rating is near historic lows.