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Democratic Leaders Try to Get Out in Front of Returns

House Democratic leaders thanked campaign volunteers and urged Americans in states where polls have not yet closed to go out and vote during a subdued election-night reception near Capitol Hill on Tuesday night.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) spoke for about 10 minutes to several hundred supporters gathered at a watch party and DCCC fundraiser at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel.

“As we gather here, hundreds of thousands of volunteers are walking precincts and making phone calls and ringing those doorbells for our Democracy,” Pelosi said. “They’re out there because they know the tremendous difference that this election will make. … People all over the country are not going to be told by people in Washington how this election will turn out. They will speak for themselves.” 

The Democratic leaders’ remarks were scheduled early in the evening before many of the midterm election results had come in, and there are no firm plans for them to make further public comments on election night. Republicans are expected to capture more than the 39 seats they need to retake the chamber.

Pelosi, Hoyer and Van Hollen avoided making predictions that Democrats would hold the majority — which they did repeatedly earlier in the day. Still, the trio was upbeat. 

As Pelosi — who would be forced to cede her gavel to Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) if the predicted GOP rout materializes — took the stage, the room erupted in cheers. One person from the audience yelled, “We love you.” Another screamed words of support for the San Francisco Giants, Pelosi’s hometown baseball team, which won the world series Monday night.
“I want to urge every American who has not yet voted, who still has that opportunity, to take it,” Hoyer said. 

Van Hollen insisted that voters would turn out to vote. 

“Every one of our candidates has the strongest field and volunteer network that they’ve ever had in any of their campaigns, and we’ve had thousands of volunteers knocking on doors, making telephone calls and reminding the American people of their responsibility to get out and exercise their right to vote in this great Democracy of ours,” Van Hollen said. 

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