Skip to comments.Rothenberg: With 4 Months To Go, House Could Turn, Senate Probably Not
Posted on 07/07/2010 2:10:36 PM PDT by Drango
There's less than four months to go before the November midterm elections, and by the looks of things now, Republicans have a legitimate shot at capturing control of the House.
That's the sense of Stuart Rothenberg, the widely respected political analyst who publishes the conveniently-titled "Rothenberg Political Report." Stu sat down and talked politics with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel for an interview that will air this evening.
Of the 435 seats in the House, Democrats currently hold 255, Republicans 178, and there are two vacancies the Republican seat in Indiana where Mark Souder resigned and the Democratic seat in New York where Eric Massa quit. There are no plans to hold a special election to replace Massa Gov. David Paterson (D) says the state can't afford it, though Republicans are convinced that he doesn't want to give the GOP a shot at picking up the seat in a special, which it probably would. The Indiana seat is likely to stay in Republican hands in a special election.
So, if we're assuming 179 GOP seats going into November, that means they would need a net gain of 39 to take control of the House and make John Boehner speaker. Doable?
Absolutely, says Rothenberg. He sees a whopping 80 seats in play this year, all but a dozen or so held by the Democrats. "There are enough seats on the table that the Republicans could net the 39" needed for control, he said. "Substantial Republican gains," but it's "premature" to say whether they win a majority.
It's not surprising, of course, for the president's party in this case, the Democrats to lose seats in a midterm election. "Voters who were enthusiastic for a new president often do not turn out two years later," he said. Rothenberg points out that other than the exceptions of 2002, where the GOP picked up seats "probably because of 9/11," and 1998, where Democrats made gains because of Republicans "overplaying their hands on impeachment," the party that controls the White House loses congressional seats in the midterm elections.
That's not to say that the GOP won't lose a few of their own seats as well. Stu listed Charles Djou in Hawaii, Joseph Cao in Louisiana and the open seats in Delaware (vacated by Senate candidate Mike Castle) and Illinois (by Senate candidate Mark Kirk) as potential or likely Democratic pickups.
But for the most part, the change is going to go in the opposite direction towards the GOP. Yes, it's only July, but Rothenberg says that "the general direction of the election is clear." Only the "magnitude" how many seats, which districts is uncertain, for that will "change up to the last minute."
Another 1994, where the Republicans won control of the House and Senate? "That's premature," he said. "It depends on the economy and the jobs numbers. Right now I don't think we're there yet. There will be damage to the Democratic side, but not like '94."
Change of control in the Senate is less likely, he noted. Of the 36 seats up in November, 18 are held by each party.
Currently the Senate makeup is 56 Democrats, plus two independents who vote to organize with the Dems, plus the vacancy in West Virginia that will most assuredly be held by a Democratic appointee. For the Republicans to gain control, they need to pick up a net of 10 seats: "Difficult," Stu said. He sees a GOP gain of perhaps five to eight seats. "They will need more states to come into play," he said, "before they have any chance of netting 10."
Democrats would love the the May special election in Pennsylvania's 12th District to be the model. In that race, to succeed the late John Murtha (D), Republicans ran a national campaign anti-Obama, anti-Pelosi, anti-Washington while Democrats focused on the local economy. And the Democratic candidate, Mark Critz won.
But November is "going to be about Barack Obama and the economy," Rothenberg said. "You don't see numbers like these" so many more vulnerable Democratic seats than Republican seats "if it wasn't a national election. There is a definite political wave building here, like we saw in 2006 and 2008. Only this time it's in the Republicans' direction."
Note: Check out this poll of 70 House districts conducted in June for NPR by Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger that forecasts significant gains for the GOP.
I predict a win of 58 House seats and 8 Senate seats.
I doubt either will turn. But I do believe we’ll make a huge dent in both.
Take Carville’s advice.
Wrap that 10% unemployment around their necks and don’t let go until November.
The Senate already “turned” in the sense that the Rats no longer have a filibuster proof majority.
CA, NV, ND, PA, WI, DE, IL, WA, CO and maybe a few surprises. It’s doable.
58 gain? Good to hope for but unlikely.
1994 (GOP +52)
1974 (Dem +43)
1966 (GOP +47)
1958 (Dem +49)
1948 (Dem +75)
1946 (GOP +56)
Do you think that the progressives are going to quietly let their agenda get slowed or stopped?
Starting in January 2011, you’re going to see savagery and lying and screaming and finger-pointing at 110 decibels.
I suspect that the RATS and their running dogs in the media are trying mightily to keep some enthusiasm in their base.
To maximize our victory on 2NOV, we should make Sarah Palin the head of the RNC. She draws big crowds wherever she speaks, and is a good fundraiser. Look at Sharron Angle’s web-page....she has just raised 1.5mil from the internet. Things are lookin’ good!
The GOP is going to take back both Houses of Congress. The anger out there across the country is at a fever pitch. Rothenberg is whistlin’ past the graveyard.
All that really matters is taking one or the other. Since we won’t get a veto proof majority our morst pressing need is to stop the Dems from ramming this nightmare scenario through at will. Even if we got both the Senate and House any worthwhile retreat from the O agenda which the Pubs passed would get vetoed. For now we stop the bleeding, and get as much as possible. In ‘12 we get the Pres and both houses and start taking this monster apart.
I agree, the dems will lose the majority in both houses.
Scott Brown will no longer be quite as crucial.
“I doubt either will turn. But I do believe well make a huge dent in both.”
That’s all that’s needed. I want to see these conservative candidates win in the House. If we win the house with a +58 seat gain, a lot of RINOs will make it into the mix thus causing the vicious cycle to begin again. We need more time.
The Senate is always going to have liberal tendencies & it is tougher to make that more conservative at this time, but making a dent in the House and scaring the hell out of the remaining moderates will neutralize Obama. If the Republicans capture the House or Senate, Obama and his lapdog media has something to blame.
I say wound them in ‘10, then go for the kill in 2012. 2012 could be a banner year for conservatism in the USA if ‘10 works out like you said. If we wind up with a +4 gain in the Senate and +25 gain in the House (and those gains should be “real” conservative gains), Obama is done for. That’s how thin the guy is. His style of politics may play well in Chicago, but it fails miserably in DC.
The last thing I want to see on FR is a suicide watch if we don’t win the House back ... I’d argue winning the House back would make things easier for Obama in ‘12.
Yes they are.
That's what the "kick A**" comments and the declaration of Gay and Lesbian Month are all about.
The enthusiasm factor on the left will determine whether we take the House or not IMO. I notice the White House is having a harder and harder time getting that excitement level to rise over there on DU.
He is stubbornly holding on the old political math. He is either so set in his ways he can’t see the change comming, or he is hoping it won’t come.
A Republican won Ted Kennedy’s seat in Mass.
For the first times since...ever, conservatives are marching in the streets.
65% of Americans think the country is going in the wrong direction (not having a hard time, but going in the wrong direction).
Even a blind man can read this writing on the wall. This will be an election like no other.
Screw NPR. We’re going to take both houses back!
We’re dealing with bolsheviks. How many of those elections will be stolen, like in Minnesota etc.? I think our side is too cocky and sure and still assuming that we are playing the old fashioned politics of fair elections. That’s not the way stalinists play them.
just imagine if we had a real Republican party!
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