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Clyburn Says Democrats Must Sell Obamacare to Voters

Democrats must do a better job of selling Obamacare and turning out voters in November’s non-presidential election if they want to control Congress next year, the party’s third-ranking House leader James Clyburn said.

“If we don’t do it, we get wiped out,” Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democrat in Congress, said during a meeting today with Bloomberg News reporters and editors in New York. ``If we do it, we get back in charge.''

Polls show Democrats on their heels heading into the November election, which will determine control of Congress for President Barack Obama’s final two years in office. Democrats can lose no more than five seats in the November election and keep control of the 100-member Senate.

Few pollsters expect the president’s party to take control of the U.S House of Representatives, which Democrats lost in 2010 just months after Obama signed the health-care law. The Republicans now control the House with 233 seats to the Democrats’ 199, with three open seats.

Democrats’ troubles heading into November are a result of Obamcare’s flawed rollout starting late last year, said Clyburn, 73.

“We came off the government shutdown soaring, we were like eagles,” he said. “That rollout melted all that away. We are where we are because the rollout was all screwed up.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael C. Bender in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at Laurie Asseo

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