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— Desperate Democrats are rushing to save suddenly vulnerable House incumbents, even in states where President Barack Obama cruised to double-digit victories, amid fresh signs of Republican momentum less than a week before the midterm elections.

The once friendly terrain of New York, California, Obama’s native state of Hawaii and adopted state of Illinois all now pose stiff challenges to Democrats who are determined to limit their losses next Tuesday. Both parties agree the GOP will hold its House majority; the question is whether Republicans can gain enough seats to rival their post-World War II high water mark of 246.

The current breakdown is 233-199 in favor of the Republicans with three vacancies.

“We’re in trench warfare. I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“Heck, it’s been so long since a Republican was elected to the Congress in Massachusetts, most Republicans don’t know how to spell Massachusetts,” joked Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He said the GOP is spending 78 percent of its independent money in districts that Obama won.

National Democrats are coordinating with local campaigns in Nevada, Hawaii and California in hopes of holding seats.

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