Democrats hold solid leads for four of the six Republican seats they need to capture the Senate and about 10 of 15 required to win the House, according to officials in both parties. Numerous additional races remain highly competitive.
After two weeks of adverse publicity linked to the Mark Foley scandal, public and private polling suggested partial recovery for some endangered Republican incumbents, and senior party officials made a concerted effort to project confidence.
"By many measures, there are strong indications of a right-of-center base that is engaged and committed," party chairman Ken Mehlman said Friday in a memo written for public consumption.
The assertion was a response to independent polls that show disapproval of President Bush's policies, including on the Iraq war, and discontent with Congress have made Democrats more eager to vote on Nov. 7 than Republicans.
At the same time, Democrats said unexpected opportunities for gains keep coming their way - including House races in Minnesota, Idaho and Nevada - and they have the money needed to battle Republicans to the end.