- Aborted fetuses from Britain incinerated in Oregon plant to make electricity
- Motolotov cocktail thrown a Brooklyn mini-mart
- 3 Americans dead in shooting at Kabul hospital by Afghan guard
- Running on empty: EPA slashes biofuel goals because of ethanol shortage
- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
Analysts: GOP to gain many seats in ‘10
Following major setbacks in 2008, the national political landscape for Republicans has improved so dramatically in recent months that election analysts say the only remaining question is how deep the Democrats’ losses will be in the 2010 congressional midterm races.
President Obama’s approval rating has fallen to 51 percent in the Gallup tracking survey. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that voters were nearly evenly divided on which party should control Congress, with Democrats edging Republicans by just three points, down from a seven-point lead in July, and election analysts have moved nearly two dozen Democratic House seats into “competitive” rating columns benefiting the Republican Party.
“The president’s standing has weakened; Democrats are on the defensive on the economy, spending and health care; and key midterm voting groups — including seniors and independents — are moving away from the Democrats and toward the GOP,” veteran elections analyst Stuart Rothenberg told his newsletter subscribers last week in his latest survey of House races for 2010.
“We’ve moved a number of races, but it’s still early, and we expect many more races to develop that are not now on our chart. Eventually, this should put more Democratic seats at risk,” Mr. Rothenberg said.
Longtime elections handicapper Charlie Cook agrees that the national political movement has turned decidedly away from the Democrats at this point in the two-year election cycle.
“As the political environment for Democrats has turned ugly, it is widely assumed the party will sustain losses in next year’s midterm elections. The operative question is: How bad will those losses be?” he said in a recent analysis for Congress Daily.
Historically, the party that wins the White House loses House seats in the new president’s first midterm elections, a trend that has been broken just twice since the 1930s (under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 and George W. Bush in 2002). The post-World War II average losses in a president’s first term is 16 House seats, but Mr. Cook says “the number of seats now at risk exceeds [the Democrats’] majority.”
Democrats hold a 256-177 edge in the House, with two vacancies, meaning Republicans would have to score a net gain of 40 seats to reclaim the majority lost in 2006.
With little more than 13 months remaining before next year’s elections, Democrats are hoping the economy will turn around sooner than expected, unemployment will recede more quickly than current projections and the White House will score a major political victory by passing a health care reform bill before the end of the year.
“But they also fear the 13 months might give matters a chance to snowball and get worse. If Democrats go 0-2 in this year’s gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, that will only dampen party morale more,” Mr. Cook warned.
Mr. Rothenberg’s analysis of all 435 House seats puts 48 of them in play, 31 held by Democrats and 17 held by Republicans. Since his last race-by-race rating, he has shifted 22 Democratic-held seats into competitive categories from “tossups” to “leaning Republican” — all of them “benefiting Republicans,” he said.
As of now, “Republicans could gain anywhere from only a handful of seats to a couple of dozen or more, depending on how things develop over the next year,” he said, adding that “the National Republican Congressional Committee’s 2006 and 2008 nightmare is over.”
David Wasserman, the House elections analyst at the Cook Political Report, said Democrats “have 25 to 30 seats that are truly vulnerable, with another 40 seats where there’s a chance of a competitive race. Republicans have between 10 to 15 vulnerable seats.”
“If the election were held today, Republicans could pick up 10 to 25 House seats,” Mr. Wasserman said.
Meantime, the Democrats’ prospects in the Senate appear to have softened, although the real vulnerabilities lie not in 2010, but beyond.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- CURL: Obama's foreign policy even worse than his domestic policy
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Jimmy Carter: Dont hurt Russian people with sanctions
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014