Election mode hits the Capitol

Democrats and Republicans are clearing the decks of dangerous political issues that could sink their chances in the midterm elections.

This unusually cautious approach comes nine months before Election Day and illustrates how both parties are reluctant to tackle anything that doesn’t poll well. With the battle for control of the Senate projected to be extremely close, neither side wants to drift into a sudden political storm.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is likely to hold his majority in the House, made clear Tuesday he does not want to squander his political capital in another vicious fiscal fight.

The GOP’s approval rating dropped to historically low levels in October, after a conservative rebellion helped lead to a government shutdown.

Last week, Boehner all but pronounced immigration reform — another dangerous issue for the GOP — dead for the remainder of 2014.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is using the same playbook.

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