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. Denver Dem

    No and no. Only the KLAn members would like to believe so. So since you retards don't know what your talking about go back to listening to Rush the racist and Bill the Bigot.

    February 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Denver Dem

    Hey Ron, what is your solution then. Seems the lack of control is what screwed everyday americans from the start. Do some research you blithering idiot.

    February 13, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Lily

    That depends on how well they can continue to fool certain groups of Americans into believing a totalitarian government is a good thing. We are getting close now. We have democrats wanting to institute the "Fairness" Doctrine which is another step in trying to control the media. Study up on the Rwandan genocide folks. This is not an attempt to scare you; just an attempt to make you familiar with recent history.

    February 13, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Bill

    Hey Matt M. I dont see the troops home yet. That promise is three years old now. My new 09 vehicle is in. I just need one of those democratic 125k jobs so I can deduct the sales tax. I have used the lesser of two evils and have not been happy for the last 20 years. Lets invite the third party to the campaign.

    February 13, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Marc

    Way to early to answer this question. But they are not on the right track presently.

    February 13, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. YVONNE-KENTUCKY

    WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!!! MAJORITY OR MINORITY THE DEMS ARE JUST A BUCH OF IDIOTS. I REALLY BELIEVE THE DEMS WANT THE WIDE LOAD RUSH LIMBAUGH TRAIN BACK IN POWER IN WASHINGTON. IDIOTS, SIMPLY IDIOTS. ARE WE AS CITIZENS THAT VOTED FOR THEM IDIOTS AS WELL? WE DID VOTE FOR THEM.

    February 13, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Spencer/Hampton Roads, VA

    I'm officially moving to MSNBC. There must be a republican reading these comments b4 they get posted. By CNN, hello Chris, Rachel & Keith. Way better reporting!

    February 13, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. fella from Chicago

    After this farce of a so-called stimulus package, the Republicans will rule the Houses again in 2010. This economic recovery thing of Obama's stinks!

    February 13, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Nonzuzo

    No theare not. On the other hand the Repubs should be worried. I mean really worries IF the stimulus shows positive results :)

    February 13, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. question

    all the old timers are in trouble...we need new faces, with new ideas, living in the real wor;ld......not people who has been around for decades and decades....

    February 13, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. indevoterfromPA

    NOT.. it's the GOP that should be very concerned about future. Americans are SICK of them.

    February 13, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    So the first guys says the Dems will gain seats and the second guy says rthe Dems hopefully keep the same number of seats, but the question CNN fabricates from it is "are the Dems in trouble?" Did I miss something? Are you people literally this hard up for ratings? History shmistory. Name another Democaratic POTUS with a majority in both houses of Congress who got to watch the GOP destroy itself so thoroughly. Go ahead, name one.

    February 13, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. We have been SKUNK

    A BIG yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BO LIED TO US AND IS STILL LYING TO US. WHAT A BUNCH A DUMMIES WE ARE.! SOCIALISM IS HERE, !

    I WANT MY VOTE BACK......

    CHANGE:
    C =CORRUPTION
    H =HATRED
    A= ANGER
    G-GREED
    E-ELIITISM

    ...

    February 13, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Ravi

    NO to a third party! That is just plain idiotic. We saw what happened in FL back in 2000 (Nader) and in 1992 (Perot). A third party would simply siphon votes from Dems (or Repubs), and basically hand over the election to the party that is further away from them on the political spectrum.

    We must fight to prevent any third party from becoming viable.

    February 13, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. arithmetic is liberal

    Still Waiting for the Politics of Hope
    February 13th, 2009 1:52 pm ET

    Am I the only one who thinks it's time for a viable THIRD party?

    Sure. As soon as we have a parlimentary system in this country. Until then, it's Coalition A and Coalition B, whatever the make up of the two has to be at whatever time to represent people and stay in power...

    February 13, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Joan

    No way, look who they have. Republicans need to look somewhere else other then alaska, or mccain. They were so dumb sounding. I want to see President Obama in for 8 years. He will do alot better then bush has. I say shut up people and give him a chance. I have never seen so many haters that want to just pick at everything he does. Where were you all when bush sent us to war and let binladens family get out of here after 9/11. He was the only one who get a plane to fly to get them out of here. He was watching out for his big oil rigs. Wake up. No more Republicans.

    February 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    With every one's expectation's so unrealistically high for the Dems to get things done right now, And the MSM's penchant to give the GOP all the airtime to nitpick and stomp on everything they try to do, nothing short of an absolute miracal will not be enough, they will lose some ground by then!

    February 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Sorry about the spelling. forgot spellcheck. DUH!

    February 13, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    With every one's expectation's so unrealistically high for the Dems to get things done right now, And the MSM's penchant to give the GOP all the airtime to nitpick and stomp on everything they try to do, nothing short of an absolute miracle will not be enough, they will lose some ground by then!

    February 13, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. no corporate politics

    Send the Dems and Repubs packed next time you vote!

    Libertarian!
    Green Party!

    For a change.......
    no really.....

    February 13, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. EBC, MD

    YOU KNOW WHO SHOULD BE WORRIED?

    The Republican LEADERSHIP who clearly proved they can't LEAD if their ARSE depended on them.

    Those folks like John Boeher, John McCain, etc. did NOTHING but COVER THEIR WHITE BUTTS and STABBED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN THE BACKS IN THE PROCESS!!!

    They didn't give a rats behind about the millions of families out of jobs and homes!!

    THEY JUST DON'T GET IT, AMERICA NEEDED THEM AND THEY BLATANTLY IGNORE THEIR CALLS FOR HELP!!

    Nothing like a BLOW JOB to sobber you up with a quickness!!

    NOT ONE REPUBLICAN REACH ACROSS PARTY LINES TO HELP MILLION OF AMERICANS.

    ALL THEY DID WAS COMPLAIN....COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN AND THEN THEY MADE EXCUSES AFTER EXCUSES!!

    2010 IS GOING TO REMIND THESE JERKS WHO IS TRULY "THE BOSS" AND IT'S THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEY GAVE THE SHAFT!!!

    February 13, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Leo D, PA

    I'm not a betting man, when it comes to playing with other peoples money; however, I do like to play cards with my own money, but who wants a piece of this action, when they are playing with a stacked deck. They say, "that a sucker is born every minute" sort of like politics,
    when the House has the advantage. Hope for the best to all taxpayers.

    February 13, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Frank, Las Vegas

    Not at all!! The American have wised up to the same old GOP lies, games and politics as usual. In 2010 you'll be able to count the number of republicans in the Senate one your hands and toes and still have some to spare. As far as republicans in the House, you numbers will be less than 100. So to the GOP (Grand Obstructionists Party), get used to being a very very small insignificant group. If you're looking for the party that Really Puts Country First, look no farther than the Democratic Party.

    February 13, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. James L.

    Right..............how about you wait and see. I think the GOP is so DEAD that it matters not what the DEMS do or don't do. Try writing more about the DEATH of the GOP and trust me Banner from Ohio really is putting nails in the GOP coffin.

    February 13, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Steph

    No way!

    February 13, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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