DNC, RNC Spokesmen Set Expectations for Election Day

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:

Other than, of course, the voting, it’s all about the expectations-setting now – with the parties judged not just based on the raw numbers but how they fare against the collective conventional wisdom.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, we invited the communications directors for the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee to make their final pitches.

The DNC’s Brad Woodhouse said the night won’t be as bad as Republicans might have voters believe.

“I think it is great -- just go ahead and set those expectations,” Woodhouse told us. “But I will tell you. We feel really good about what we are seeing in the early vote. If there was going to be a tsunami, it would be in the early vote. We are winning with sporadic and new voters and we are running even or ahead in the other states in with actual votes. ... I think we can surprise some people.”

The RNC’s Doug Heye joked that the empty studio he was in made him “feel like I am at the Obama rally.”

“The voters certainly want to make adjustments and corrections and whatever number people want to pick out and speculate … we are optimistic,” Heye said. “We are seeing, in our early voting in Florida, where we are clobbering the DNC who clobbered us in 2008 in early voting. We think we are in a good position, and to use a sports term: We have got the ball, it is the end of the game, we want to score the basket."

Woodhouse said Democrats should have been less shy about touting their accomplishments on items like health care.

“That has been our perspective the whole time. If you take tough votes, if you think that the votes are right, then you should be proud of what you voted for,” he said. “I am not sure what we could have done to change the dynamic of the election. One thing we do have though is a ground game that is turning people out, and I think we are going to surprise people tomorrow.”

We also asked them both if they’d like their opposing party chairman – the DNC’s Tim Kaine and the RNC’s Michael Steele – to serve additional terms.

Said Heye: “If that is what the chairman of the Democrats wants, that is fine. We don't care who their chairman is, we care about who the candidate is.”

Said Woodhouse: “I would like to see nothing more than to see Michael Steele reelected as the chair of the Republican National Committee.”

Watch the debate between Brad Woodhouse and Doug Heye HERE .

We also checked in with ABC’s John Berman, who’ll be co-hosting our online Election Night coverage along with me and Claire Shipman tomorrow night. We go live at 7 pm ET from our little “election lounge” at ABC headquarters in New York, and you can follow us via Twitter at #vote2010.

Watch the portion of the program with John Berman HERE .

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