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Democrats Begin Mad Dash to Nov. 4

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

House Democratic leaders are embarking on a frenzy of campaign activity in the final week before Election Day.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Monday kicked off an exhausting eight-state tour to campaign for more than a dozen House Democratic incumbents and challengers. He will also attend an Ohio fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

Details of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) schedule are less concrete, but she also appears poised for a frenetic week of pre-Election Day events.

A spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said the Speaker is spending the second half of October barnstorming the country for House Democratic candidates and on behalf of the DCCC. Pelosi is hitting both coasts for Democrats, headlining events in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

“Even while Republicans form circular firing squads in anticipation of a coast-to-coast rejection of their policies, Democrats are not taking anything for granted, and we will fight for every last vote until the last poll closes,” said one senior Democratic aide.

Hoyer will spend Monday campaigning in three Midwestern states, starting in Missouri, where he will stump for Democrat Judy Baker in St. Louis. Baker is locked in a tight race for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof.

Later in the day, Hoyer will head to Kentucky to campaign for Rep. John Yarmuth (D) and Democratic candidate David Boswell, who is running for the seat of retiring Republican Rep. Ron Lewis. The Majority Leader will travel to Indianapolis on Monday night, where he is hosting a fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Baron Hill.

On Tuesday morning, Hoyer will campaign in Indianapolis for Democrat Mike Montagano, who is challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Mark Souder. Stopping later in Cincinnati, Hoyer will headline separate fundraisers – one for Victoria Wulsin, the Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt, and another for the Obama/Biden campaign. That evening, Hoyer will attend a fundraiser in Columbus for Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, who is vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce.

Hoyer will head to Canton, Ohio, on Wednesday morning to campaign for Democrat John Boccieri, who is seeking the seat left open by retiring Republican Rep. Ralph Regula.

That afternoon, Hoyer will head to Pittsburgh to campaign for Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire. He will also travel to Erie to headline a labor rally with Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper, who is in a tight race to unseat seven-term GOP Rep. Phil English. That night, Hoyer will head to a Rochester, N.Y., fundraiser for Democrat Eric Massa, who is challenging two-term Republican Rep. Randy Kuhl.

On Thursday morning, Hoyer will be in Charlotte, N.C., to campaign for Democrat Larry Kissell, who is hoping to oust five-term GOP Rep. Robin Hayes. Hoyer will wrap up the week campaigning in Orlando, Fla., for Democrat Alan Grayson, who is challenging four-term Republican Rep. Ric Keller. Hoyer will return to Washington that evening.

According to his political action committee, AmeriPAC, Hoyer has traveled to 34 states and 101 districts in the 2008 cycle to campaign for Democratic incumbents and candidates. So far this cycle, Hoyer has contributed $1.5 million to Members and candidates and raised another $5 million. He has also given the DCCC $1.2 million and raised another $3.9 million.

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