"Mark your calendar, August 11th, the day he was chosen gave a clarification to the issue of Medicare," Pelosi said about Ryan on CNN earlier this month. "This is a person who has been the destroyer of Medicare guarantee," she added.
Democrats had already been highlighting the Ryan Medicare proposal across the country, but they believe that giving it national prominence helped make their case that the dramatic overhaul the House Budget Committee chairman proposed would prove too alarming to voters.
Democrats hold up their win in a special election last May in upstate New York when Democrat Kathy Hochul linked Ryan's proposal to her GOP opponent Jane Corwin and took over what had been a reliably red seat.
But one top GOP strategist told CNN that that upstate New York special election "was the best thing that ever happened to us. It prepared us, it opened us up, and it gave us a year to explain our plan."
Republicans argued it was the Democrats who were gutting Medicare -- by using more than $700 million in reductions for payments to physicians to pay for Obamacare. The GOP candidate Mark Amodei won that election and the strategy has been replicated by candidates ever since.
With the bulk of this cycle's competitive races concentrated in districts represented by the more moderate members of each party, the outcome of this election will mean an even more polarized House in 2013.
The GOP conference will include even more conservatives and the likely loss of more moderate Democrats, whose ranks were already decimated in 2010, will tilt the Democratic caucus further to the left.
A recent study by the Cook Political Report of all congressional districts found that the number of swing districts in the United States went from 164 to 99 in the last 14 years. That decline will undoubtedly have an impact on the ideological divide between the two parties in the House not just this year, but in future elections.
"There's a remarkable reduction in the number of members who have an incentive to compromise," Wasserman told CNN.