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Biden predicts Democrats will retake the House

 

Vice President Biden on Friday predicted re-election for himself and President Obama, along with a regained majority for Democrats in the House of Representatives.

The vice president, addressing House Democratic lawmakers at their retreat in Maryland, said he saw victories for Democrats this fall after a campaign based on drawing stark contrasts with Republicans.

"I really do think that we're going to win back the House," Biden said. "I think we will win based purely on the merits of our position."

Biden also predicted victory for Obama this fall, too, telling lawmakers over their applause that he envisions this year's battle with Republicans concluding with him and the president, standing on the steps of the Capitol next year, being sworn into office for a second term.

Democrats lost the majority they had first won in 2006 during a wave election for Republicans in 2010. They need to pick up a net total of 25 seats in November in order to take back the House, a task which is complicated by Census-related redistricting in states across the country.

Biden said he saw no need to mischaracterize Republicans' positions when, Biden said, the GOP has been honest about its intentions.

"This is the first election where the opposition isn't trying to hide the ball," he said, later adding: "These guys are helping us by saying what they believe."

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday suggested that Democrats enjoy a slight advantage in national public opinion versus Republicans. Forty-seven percent of registered voters said they prefer a Democratic-held Congress as the outcome of the 2012 elections, while 41 percent wish to see a Congress controlled by Republicans.

But congressional popularity as a whole remains extraordinarily low, and cuts both ways; a majority of registered voters, 56 percent, said they would vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own, if they had the option.

As for the presidential race, Biden made some mild criticism of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the two leading candidates for the GOP nomination.

Biden said he saw them as earnest in their views, if misguided. Biden referenced Romney's op-ed in favor of a bankruptcy process for Genral Motors at the height of the automaker's woes, and Gingrich's support for work-study programs for children, and the ex-speaker's criticism of Obama as a "food stamp president."

"I think it's not just political theater," Biden said of the Republicans' views, "I think they believe it, they're committed to it."

Obama is slated to address the Democratic retreat this afternoon.