Democrats looking to win back control of Congress amid competitive races

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As the political parties battle for power of Congress, Washington Correspondent Alana Austin explains the Democrats' strategy to win back the majority.

From toss-up races, to districts long considered GOP strongholds, Democrats are waging fierce campaigns up and down the ballots.

“who they’re fighting for seems to be within the lobbyists, the rich, the powerful," said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) about her take on the overall Republican focus on Capitol Hill.

Bustos says in contrast, Democrats are sticking to the issues this election. The party’s messaging zeroing in on health care costs, prescription drug prices and also more accountability on Capitol Hill.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do here in Washington," said Bustos.

Historically, two years after a president and his party take over Washington, the opposing party picks up steam. House Democrats have a big opening this year with dozens of Republicans retiring. But many Senate Democrats face tough re-election battles in red states.

“It’s very possible that the House could go back to Democrats but the Senate could not because it’s very different electorates," said Georgetown Professor Jonathan Ladd.

President Donald Trump looms large over these elections. Ladd says Democratic candidates in swing districts are reluctant to focus solely on resisting Trump.

“The Democrats have tried to focus on economic issues, not the Mueller investigation of Trump, not Russian interference in 2016 election," said Ladd.

Ladd believes Democrats made this political calculus: the strong supporters are already mobilized to get out the vote based on the Mueller probe. He thinks by focusing on pocket-book issues, they have a chance to win those on the fence about whether to vote Democrat or Republican.

Election day is November 6th. Political analysts largely say the outcome will determine how effectively President Trump can move forward with his administration’s agenda. Experts also say if Democrats take control of the House and Senate, they will likely hold more hearings and investigations as a check on the Trump administration.

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