Democrats bracing for losses

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The campaign of 2010 ended as it began: loudly.

But the nationwide barrage of last-ditch attack ads and the sniping among the country's political leaders appeared to have little effect on the dynamics of the year. Republicans enter Election Day confident that they will recapture control of the House as Democrats struggle to face what appears likely to be a significantly smaller majority in the Senate.

On the day before an election that could throw a roadblock in front of his agenda, President Obama stayed put at the White House, having completed his campaign travels over the weekend. His day included a round of radio interviews, including one with Ryan Seacrest of "American Idol."

Obama hoped to spur Democrats in battleground states to go to the polls to offset highly energized Republican voters.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), poised to become speaker if Republicans take control of the chamber, lashed out at the president in a radio interview and in the prepared text of a speech he planned to deliver Monday night in Cincinnati.

Boehner seized on a line from an interview Obama gave on Oct. 25 to Univision Radio, in which he indicated that Republicans are "enemies" of Latinos.

"Mr. President," he retorted, "there's a word for people who have the audacity to speak up in defense of freedom, the Constitution and the values of limited government that made our country great. We don't call them enemies. We call them patriots."

Although Obama was in Washington, first lady Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail on the final day of the race. She appeared with embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and asked frustrated and anxiety-ridden voters to be patient.

"We expected all this change to come at once," she said, according to the Las Vegas Sun. "Truth is, it's going to take a lot longer to dig us out of this hole."

The first lady was headed for Pennsylvania and a rally on behalf of Rep. Joe Sestak (D), who is in a tight Senate race with former House member Pat Toomey (R).

Vice President Biden, meanwhile, was stumping in Vermont, where he warned voters not to let Republicans regain power, saying the GOP would reinstitute policies that brought on the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

Former president Bill Clinton, who has campaigned coast to coast this fall, was in Florida. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek is in an uphill battle in his Senate race against Republican Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist, who quit the GOP to run as an independent, and Democrat Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, is battling Republican businessman Rick Scott in a close gubernatorial contest.

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