The two top-ranking Democrats indicated Tuesday that their confidence is growing that their party will retake the House majority in November’s midterm elections, as a new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed voters turning sharply against congressional Republicans.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter telling colleagues on Tuesday that Democrats “must Be Ready for the prospect that we will be in the Majority in January.”

Pelosi said that the top Democrats on House committees will write bills reflecting the party’s “For the People” campaign agenda, with an emphasis on reining in health-care costs, raising wages and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

The letter came the same day Pelosi said in an NPR interview that she has “every confidence” that Democrats will reclaim the House. “Not because I’m taking anything for granted, but because we’re not yielding one grain of sand,” she said.

Meanwhile, the No. 2 House Democratic leader, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters he is “pretty confident” that voters will return Democrats to power in the House come November.

“All the signs that I have seen are very, very positive,” he said, citing the quality of Democratic candidates, strong fundraising totals and increasingly rosy national polling for Democrats.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi waves to the audience before speaking at the Public Policy Institute of California on Aug. 22 in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/AP)

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed registered voters nationally preferring Democrats in House races by 14-point margin. That is a bigger gap than Democrats have enjoyed in other recent “generic ballot” surveys that test how voters view the parties in general.

Political forecasters and party strategists view generic ballot polling as perhaps the most important single metric in predicting congressional election outcomes, though they are hardly foolproof.

“As the last presidential election showed us, nobody can really predict what’s going to happen,” Hoyer said. “But ... I am confident.”

Hoyer said that oversight of President Trump and his administration would be a key priority for Democrats alongside the policy issues laid out by Pelosi. One item on the checklist, he said, would be to obtain and publicly release Trump’s tax returns — something the chairs of the congressional tax committees can do under federal law.

So far, the Republicans in charge of those committees have blocked Democratic requests, but that would change if Democrats regain the House majority.

“If we’re in charge, and there’s a vote in the House, I will tell you my expectation would be that the House would vote to release them to the public,” Hoyer said. “The American public have the right to know whether or not a president is serving his interests or the public’s interest.”