February 13th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
4 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. No Ones Home Boy

    Im think by 2010 whether Dem or Rep, those trying to drag down this recovery will be at risk.

    February 13, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. John

    I don't think it's a question of the democrats being in trouble in 2010 with the do nothing obstructionists republicans acting like royalty and ignoring America's troubles.

    February 13, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Hugh

    The GOP now refers to themselves as "the Taliban," and you're asking if the DEMOCRATS are in trouble!?
    Give the American people a little credit – they can see who's responsible for the mess we're in, and how, when confronted with the results of their incompetence, they're throwing a hissy fit. Is their behavior going to change before 2010? If not, it's the "Taliban" who will be in trouble.

    February 13, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Jeremy

    Either way the economy will recover to the demise of GOP! This Nation can't stand their outdated trickle down economics.

    February 13, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Tom in Delaware

    You bet'cha.

    February 13, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Puddytat

    Not if they can keep the BORDER OPEN and chum a few more ignorant people to the table for big helping of PELOSI POOP SOUP .

    February 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Vicki

    I don't think the Democrats are in trouble because at least they are trying to work with everyone to reach a solution, all the Republicans can do is oppose for the sake of opposing, with no solution aside form tax cuts for the wealthy...which is why Gregg isn't up for re-election

    February 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. PaulMoATX

    No, but why are we focusing on 2010 when it's only the beginning of 2009?

    February 13, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Truth Bomb Thrower

    The thought of a third party is tempting, but unfortunately, the way our system is set up, by voting for a third party, you are actually voting for your LEAST FAVORITE major party candidate. The best thing you can do is pick one of the major parties, get involved in its inner-workings, and try to make it better. I call it the "Lesser Evil" option.

    February 13, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Once you vote Black

    Not!

    February 13, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. AnnMM

    If the stimulus works the GOP is toast. If the stimulus doesn't there will be a change.

    February 13, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. sherry

    One can only hope.......

    They need to be taken down a notch or two.

    February 13, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. J

    Is it me or are "News" outlets like this just creating this crap to avoid talking about the real issues?

    February 13, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. stevG

    That is one of the reasons, the republican party is not backing the stimulus package, because it won't show very much change for
    a year or two. The rebublicans can then say we told you so, you should have listened to us, its them xxxx democrats fault. So in 2010
    they have lots of bullets to shoot at the democrats and Obama .
    Republicans don't have very many ideas, what they are good at is
    being against everything, and tearing apart, and blaming other people
    for what went wrong, like when John McCain said "the reason you have high gas prices is its Barak Obamas fault"., or not talking about
    the issues during the campaign, and going after character issues.
    Lower taxes is their answer to everything, globle warming better lower taxes that will fix it,prostitution taking over America, better lower taxes,
    the problem is working together proably would fix it.

    February 13, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. james

    lool!

    You can push your story line all you want. Just had 8years of political mangrines and now after electing a president the media is shoving us with 2010 and 2012 elections......

    Enough for me. Just wanna live my life!!

    February 13, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. ck

    Their pompous arrogance is showing. Give them a year to mess things up worse and the GOP will come roaring back.

    February 13, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. To Hell With Republicans

    Not At All! CNN you get worse with each posting.

    February 13, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. To Hell With Republicans

    Still Waiting for the Politics of Hope. Yes you are.

    February 13, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. Chris from NY

    We (the Democrats) are not in trouble. The media will like us to think we are. But even we are, it's nothing new to the cycle of democracy/elections. So stop making a mountain out from the mole.

    February 13, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. mattM

    Third Party rise up NOW!

    One thing I can say about the Democrats is that they (like it or not) do what they say they are going to.

    The republicans scream for less spending, borrowing, smaller government, bipatisianship, ect however, when they gain control they do the exact opposite.

    At least with the dems, what you see is what you get.

    February 13, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. mattM

    Third Party rise up NOW!

    One thing I can say about the Democrats is that they (like it or not) do what they say they are going to.

    The republicans scream for less spending, less borrowing, smaller government, bipatisianship, ect however, when they gain control they do the exact opposite.

    At least with the dems, what you see is what you get.

    February 13, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Hell no we got these b-tches by the balls!! Selfish bastards! LOL

    February 13, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. E.C.Coleman

    The DEMS are in trouble in 2009!!!!
    First thing they need to do is IMPEACH Pelosi and start over!
    That woman is a canker sore to the House, certainly NOT a Leader!
    She's spiteful, foul mouthed and vindictive.
    Pelosi is certainly NOT bi-partisan, and absolutely NOT what
    this president promised to the American Voter.

    February 13, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. ron

    if they can get that cencorship doctrine in place, it should be easier for them to continue to control everything.

    you dem followers should be suspicious about a group of people who are so hell-bent on controlling everything. they control the schools and the universities. they contol the whole government and all of its support agencies. they're trying to control more and more businesses. they control most of the media and they're trying to convince you that it would be good if they could control the rest.

    who does this kind of control remind you of?

    POLITICAL FREE SPEACH IS THE PURPOSE OF THE 1st AMMENDMENT. ..and the democratic party is agaist that?

    February 13, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Karl Rove

    Oh, the Dems only get 2 years to fix what it took the Republicans 30 years to break!!!!

    Bush alone wasted 1 trillion on Iraq and 2 trillion on tax cuts for the rich. If we had that 3 trillion we would have no problem!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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