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GOP to kick off 'Fire Pelosi' tour

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Republicans are trying win control of the House in midterm elections
  • The GOP bus tour will cover 117 cities
  • Nancy Pelosi would no longer be speaker of the House if the GOP wins a majority

Washington (CNN) -- Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele kicks off a 117-city bus tour in Washington on Wednesday morning as part of the party's effort to retake the House of Representatives.

The tour is called "Fire Pelosi" after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would lose her job if Democrats lose control of the House. Republicans need to win 39 seats during midterm elections in November to accomplish their goal.

The "Fire Pelosi" campaign began in March after the House voted to pass a landmark health care reform bill opposed by all Republicans. Pelosi, who helped lead the charge to pass the measure, the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago, became the target of the GOP.

The party has a website dedicated to the cause -- firenancypelosi.com -- which shows the House speaker with a clenched fist in front of a background of flames and tells donors that if Republicans take 39 seats from the Democrats in November, it means "No More Madam Speaker."

The site says it has raised more than $1.5 million for the cause. GOPstore.com offers "Fire Pelosi" yard signs and baseball caps.

Democrats are fighting low approval ratings on two fronts -- the White House and the economy.

According to numbers released in early September, just four in 10 Americans say they approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing on the economy. The 40 percent who give Obama a thumbs up is a new low for the president on the economy in CNN polling.

Recent polls have suggested that Americans are not only overwhelmingly concerned about the state of the economy -- but do not approve of the way Democrats and Obama are handling it.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released recently found that 46 percent of Americans say that Republicans in Congress would do a better job dealing with the economy; 43 percent say that Democrats would do a better job. The GOP's advantage of 3 percentage points is within the poll's sampling error.

The Republicans' edge is a big shift from last year, when Democrats held an advantage of 52 percent to 39 percent. The GOP leads 51 percent to 32 percent on the economy among Independents, and the party has a 9-point advantage on the issue among voters 65 and older.

Because of low poll ratings, Republicans are expected to make strong gains during midterm elections, possibly enough to attain a majority in both houses of Congress, analysts say.

 
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