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. BC in NC

    E C Coleman is on the right track 150%

    February 13, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. EX-Republican

    Republicans? Who are they?

    Aren't they the marginalized party now in the United States?

    This was all predicted by the Republican Minority Leader just two weeks ago, and I would say he is right on target!

    February 13, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. KayKay

    No CNN would like everyone to think we are like they did everything in their power to promote Palin. What a bunch of jerks,. And now they have a hard time giving President Obama any respect notice how they say Obama Administration to avoid saying President Obama but they love President Bush how A$$$$ backwards.

    February 13, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Cojo

    All u dems out there need to get a grip or taste of reality. You all drank the kool-aid from Obama. Now everyone will see how ignorant he is. He may be a ivy school grad, but he should have stuck with organizing his city not the country. Pelosi, Reid and some republicans should be fired never to return.

    Simple fact is they all have a hand in this and if they are allowed to make more decisions it will only be more failed policies. I agree that not all Bush did was good and Obama did inherit a huge debt. Keep in mind that debt was accumulated over a few years not hours as we are seeing with the "Chosen One"... Makes me sick to know my son's sons or daughters will be the unfortunate debt payers.

    February 13, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Texans for KBHutchinson

    CNN still thinks McCain and Palin are going to win the 2008 election. Obama the community organizer is President Obama the organization paid off and the community turned out watch out for us in 2012

    February 13, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Terry

    You dems forget that "the holy messiah" will not be on the ballot in 2010. You'll be very lucky to hold on to what you've gained. Unless of course Obama can control the next census and re-district republicans right out of the picture.

    February 13, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. tom

    The more things CHANGE, the more the kleptocracy grows. It's just a matter of time before more and more Americans move to Canada to escape America's quickening decline.

    February 13, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. cedgar

    You bet they are in trouble $13 give me a break!
    I going to give my increase to Republican party (at least they are
    acting like adults this time) I m so angry at what Schmer "we do not care about little pork/ear mark PLEASE I would love to have that kind of money!!!!!!!
    30 million for a mouse I m just so angry I scream at the TV.
    I just keep saying are you kidding me how stupid does our government
    think we are? I m seriously ready for another Boston Tea Party

    February 13, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. disgusted

    I also would like to see a third party. I don't like one party control and I know that no republican candidate will ever get my vote again.

    February 13, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. ed

    When you have a bunch of JERKS in the GOP like is presently in office you can only lose more. Based on their stupid hatemongering BIGOTRY theeir is a good chance we may have the first one party house m. Seeing that this is not CNN"S biased view point it will probably not get printed . This is why so many folks do not watch CNN any more , if it was'nt for Mathews big mouth 3/4 of the audience would switch to msnbc.

    February 13, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Mike A

    Not if the Democrats put the blame for this disaster where it belongs; squarely on the Republicans. There is an easy and direct response to the Republicans it is their policies and ideaology that caused this mess and the're still touting cut taxes and trickle down as the solution.

    February 13, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. American

    Hello!!! earth to CNN?..are you serious?.
    Anyone with a brain knows its the Republicans that will be losing and have been losing seats since 2006.
    What a stupid post!

    February 13, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Vic of New York

    Opinions don't matter - activisim does.

    Rep Boehner (pronounced "boner") has a hard on for America – and we intend to throw some cold water on it.

    Republicans flushed America down the toilet – now it's time to flush THEM out of Congress!

    February 13, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. rich

    Well now that the republicans have proven that they dont get it. No

    February 13, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Marc

    Yeah dems you´re going DOWNNNNNNNN with a big O in the middle! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    February 13, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. rich

    Well its great to have 3 partys now.The dems,the independents and um, um can remember the third

    February 13, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Nee

    Why isn't CNN reporting on that ridilous media event Palin held on Wednesday it is even funnier than the Couric interview she is twirling in her chair and pulling at her earrings. It is like a circus

    February 13, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Dirty South

    Go to YTube to see the full version of Palin on Wednesday it is so funny a hometown reporter asked her why does she hide behind the it is a personal matter or it is a personnel issue whenever it benefits her. OMG she was stumped. That gotcha media

    February 13, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IT'S AMAZING HOW THIS COUNTRY IS SPLIT IN HALF.

    DEMOCRATS-GULLIBLE, DOESN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHATS IN THE STIMULUS BILL, PUTS ALL HOPE OF SOME KIND OF CHANGE ON OBAMA, WHEN ANYTHING GOES WRONG ALWAYS BLAME BUSH, AND TYPICALLY IS NOT REAL EDUCATED!!!!!!!

    REPUBLICANS- TYPICALLY EDUCATED, READS THE PAPER AND WATCH THE NEWS, IS COMPLETELY AGAINST THE STIMULUS BILL BECAUSE THEY KNOW ITS FULL OF MOSTLY SPENDING, CAN SEE WHO OBAMA REALLY IS, SCARED TO DEATH FOR THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE WHATS COMING!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Dirty South

    Where is my comment I thought this was a blog

    February 13, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    Keep the pressure on the Hypocrites, and do not take a break. Their stance is really campaigning, hoping that it plays well among the extreme right. The tide is changing and those to the extreme are loosing influence. The ballot box will settle the score with them.

    February 13, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Bipartisan

    I am an independent who voted mostly democrat this past election cycle. But the past couple of months have shown that the dems are the same old party. Nothing new nothing changed. But alot can still happen to keep my vote. Republicans need to clean their house before I vote for them again at the national level.

    February 13, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. TKW-New Mexico

    This is dumb, the democrats are doing everything they can to clean up the Repukes mess. Do the Republicans have amnesia? They created this mess. The rich got a whole lot richer and forgot about everyone else. The Republicans are still up to their tricks. Keep the rich rich and keep the poor poor. These arguments about tax cuts is a smoke screen (key words for rich tax cuts) and talking about working Americans (code words for rich americans).

    February 13, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. gt

    depends on the economy

    February 13, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Kay

    No

    February 13, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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