February 13th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Are Dems in trouble in 2010, or not?

Van Hollen, left, and Menendez head the DCCC and the DSCC respectively.
Van Hollen, left, and Menendez head the DCCC and the DSCC respectively.

(CNN) - They’re on the same team, but the House and Senate Democratic campaign chiefs appear to be looking at different playing fields when it comes to the political environment their party will face in 2010.

A day after Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez predicted big Democratic gains in two years, his counterpart in the House said he doesn't expect the party will see a "third wave" and would be happy just to "hold the line."

“If you look at first midterm elections historically, the president’s party loses seats,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said at a forum in Washington in remarks reported by Politico.

“The historical trend is pretty clear for Democrats,” he concluded.

The president's party has historically lost seats in a midterm election, especially when that party controls both houses of Congress and the White House. The Democratic Party’s decades-long majority status in Congress ended with the first midterm of the Clinton presidency.

But speaking to reporters Thursday, Menendez discounted that trend, and said he was targeting nine currently held GOP seats, and had an excellent shot at winning many of them given the fact several Republican senators are retiring.

But ultimately, Van Hollen predicted, the fortunes of the Democratic Party will depend on how the country's flagging economy performs over the next two years.

“The political challenge will be if the economy doesn’t turn the corner, and trying to explain that,” Van Hollen said.


Filed under: House • Senate
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. Rick Kantor Astin

    The economy will continue to tank for the next two years, and the Republicans will sweep into the house making Obama a lame duck.

    Count on it.

    February 13, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. bsmith171

    does anyone know how menedez avoided a jail term.
    has he taken a bribe TODAY?

    February 13, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Carl Justus

    If the republicans keep acting like little children, they will lose more seats and become irrevelant as a party. They are going to have to participate in more than criticizing and saying no to the American people and giving the rich the deed to the country.

    The only thing the republicans know is tax cuts for the richest of the land, the oil companies can write their own bills, the military/industrial complex cannot do anything wrong even send body armor that is defective and does not do the job it was contracted to do and the republicans even do not prosecute them or fine or even withhold contracts to them.

    February 13, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. David

    Isn't it a bit early for this? Or do you think today's answers will matter 2 years from now? Modern news media is becoming more awful by the day....

    February 13, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. jaye

    The republicans are in trouble – not the democrats.

    February 13, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. Ryan - Detroit

    This entire financial mess started when people bought more than they could afford. So how do our Democrats solve the problem... by spending more than our country can afford. Brilliant.

    Both the Republicans and Democrats are in trouble. They have sold out the American taxpayer. No oversight prior to this mess, no oversight during the bailout, and no vision for the future. We've elected morons.

    February 13, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  7. lil

    If the republican keep playing got you politics they will lose because,
    there are just as many poor republicans as democrates. Republican
    made poor by deregulation and bad loans that Republican let shady people make in their own states and districts.

    February 13, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. honestly

    Hell NO. We're in trouble!

    February 13, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. Ben in Dallas

    It's all about the economy.

    February 13, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. JAN

    Goodbye Demos....already holding the door open at the jail because after the stimulus plan is read by the people, that will be the only safe place for them to hide. $30 million to save a mouse and families are loosing their homes. Don't expect anyone who voted for the bill to be re-elected once the plan is enacted. 18 months is not long enough for the public to forget what the Dems have just done to this Great Nation.

    February 13, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. robert

    Wendell February 13th, 2009 6:14 pm ET

    This is why we need Howard Dean. Go after ALL GOP seats.
    50 state strategy

    Will never happen but you can dream. Remember there are still some in this country what was about 47% and its growing, that did not vote for the chosen one. And with the way he has started out the Dems will be lucky to keep the house and senate in 2010. But you can dream. Know one state that will not lose Rep. seats and the funny thing is it is about 70% registered Dems. Oklahoma has two excellent Senators (Rep.) 2 Congress (Rep) and really good congressman who is Dem. So you may get the cool aide drinking states but don't expect to get many of the midddle America states.

    We are too bitter and cling to our guns and churches.

    Have a great day..

    February 13, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. texas Demo

    The stimulus will help create jobs and stimulate the overall
    economy. The republicans want to see an all out depression
    because most republicans prosper during theses times.
    but for all of you bubbas that voted republican and in big trouble
    now ( unemployed), these clowns are a nightmare.

    February 13, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. robert

    Ingrid February 13th, 2009 5:59 pm ET

    They are absolutely in trouble once this "stimulus package" stimulates nothing but a huge debt!!!

    Yeah but as we all kow the Likes of the witch in the congress and Reid in the senate will figure out a way to try and blame the Rep. And the sad thing is that some of the cool aide drinkers will believe them. Funny how easy it is to get people to believe a lie when they are high on the cool aide.

    February 13, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. catmom

    Absolutely NOT. The Republicans think that since they have right wing radio and Faux news as well as themselves whining about how President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid aren't playing fair that people will be stupid enough to believe it. Guess what, been there , seen it and the country has paid for it. All you Republicans can scream and whine as much as you want but the American people have begun to see through it.
    Republicans idea of bipartisianship is their way or no way. Their idea of compromise is change everything to reflect Republican ideology. They want President Obama to give in to their points , forgetting that the American people rejected their ideology. They have never accepted responsibility for what has occured during the Bush administration with their help. Instead they blame Democrats, Bill Clinton and even have gone back to Jimmie Carter.
    President Obama has extended an open hand of friendship and willingness to work with them. He has gone out of his way to show bipartisanship. Republicans have only responded with a clenched fist and spit in his and the American people's face. They are following exactly the directives of Rush Limbaugh in wanting this President to fail. That they will not give him the same chance every other President has had to form his cabinet is very telling That they criticize every tiny thing President Obama does, that the media gives them the forum and does the same thing is also telling. Country first-right. President Obama has not even been in office for a month yet. My goodness. Republicans began to campaign as soon as they lost this election rather than trying to figure out what went wrong. They have no intentions of working together with President Obama and the Democrats. They want to see him fail Their bad. Most American people see through their whining.

    February 13, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. LB

    Your reporting is overwhelmingly negative and biased in favour of the Republican Party!!!

    February 13, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
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