art_obamageneric_gi.jpgWith the Democratic presidential nominee locked in, the party now hopes to capitalize on Sen. Barack Obama’s popularity in upcoming congressional races.

“I use this word in the most complimentary way: exploit the opportunities that he has opened up for us by his campaign, which has proved to be very attractive,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the man in charge of getting Democrats elected to the House, says he’s targeting take-overs in 40 districts this fall to expand the Democratic majority. That includes utilizing Obama’s draw, not only to boost the African-American vote but to reach out to independents and young voters.

“The Obama factor is this sense that people now are participating this political process who didn’t participate before. People who are thinking now they are going to make a difference in coming out to the polls and casting their votes,” Van Hollen said. “I think young people see in Obama an opportunity to really make a break with this past logjam in Washington, a break with the status quo, and move into a new era in American politics. (Continue Reading…)

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