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DCCC Looks Ahead to Tough Year

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) addressed the political landscape for his caucus at a Wednesday evening meeting at Democratic Party headquarters.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Democratic pollster Geoff Garin painted a “realistic— political picture for Members at the start of the 2010 election year. Van Hollen emphasized to Members that, unlike in previous cycles, the DCCC is prepared for a tough year.

“Unlike 1994 when Democrats were taken by surprise in the closing months of that cycle, the DCCC has been planning for tough races since January so no incumbent should be caught off guard,— Van Hollen told Members, according to a set of talking points from the meeting obtained by Roll Call.

Van Hollen, in the midst of his second cycle as DCCC chairman, said after the meeting that no push was made for Members to pay dues to the committee.

“The Members have been great in the last year and we just have to keep the momentum up this year,— Van Hollen said afterward.

Just before the December recess, GOP House leaders pleaded with their caucus to transfer funds to the cash-strapped National Republican Congressional Committee.

The source also confirmed that leadership made no push for Members who are considering retirement to make a decision immediately. In the waning weeks of 2009, several Democratic Members in competitive districts announced their retirements — setting up tough races in a year that is expected to be politically difficult for Democrats.

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