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U.S. House Democrats raising big bucks

Aug. 21, 2007 at 8:35 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Republicans are downplaying fundraising success by Democrats who took control of the U.S. House of Representatives last year after 12 years of GOP dominance.

"If their goal is to scare off Republican challengers, then they have failed miserably," Ken Spain of the National Republican Congressional Committee told USA Today.

Freshmen House Democrats who won in districts that went for U.S. President George Bush in 2004 raised an average of $600,000 in the first six months of this year, nearly double what Republican freshmen raised, USA Today reported Tuesday.

If the Democrats' fundraising success continues, it will make difficult for Republicans to reduce the Democrats' 231-202 House majority, the newspaper said.

"Our goal is to put our members in the strongest position as possible, as quickly as possible," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "We are right on target."

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