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. No Vaseline

    Wow, GOP haters out in full force today, eh?

    February 13, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. Ed's Kate

    How disgusting for Republicans to refer to themselves as "insurgents" . What kind of a person would do such a thing? It just goes to show how desperate they are. If any one is in trouble in 2010 it most definitely should be the republicans.
    There has been enough grief in this country over their invasion of Iraq. For these republicans to not only cause such grief and heartache for so many families in our beloved USA and now refer to their opposition to the stimilus bill as" insurgency" work is horrible.

    February 13, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. JML

    This is a stupid question for anyone who has studied political history. The power shifts back and forth between the two parties depending on the circumstances of the country and has since Lincoln...so, I predict that if the economy is doing better, then repubs are in big trouble because people will see the dems as being right and repubs as obstructionists. If the economy is still in the tank, then the dems will lose and repubs will gain. So, let's stop trying to panic everyone with speculation for a day or two, OK, CNN?

    February 13, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Aaron Seattle

    They shouldn't be caring about the 2010 election now. We got some serious problems to be taken care of and if all these 2 moronic parties are caring about is who will have more people sitting in the congressional musical chair show than I hope both in 2010 are fux'd! It is ridiculous to focus on anything else besides the task at hand. This is why we need campaign reform and term limits in our electoral system. Shame on you CNN for even mentioning this and not reporting on the DOZENS of other, far more interesting, events which are happening in the world today which is why I like to read BBC and NY Times. CNN you have become the counter balance squawk box to Faux News. Ratings are everything but information is and I implore you to find out the difference for yourself.

    POWER TO THE PEOPLE

    February 13, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Geo1

    Not the Democrats. I think the republicans.

    February 13, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. David from Germany

    No!

    February 13, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. jmv

    2010 IS A MILLION YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Danny in Chicago

    LOL....no, the democrats are fine. I think this posting makes the Republicans look scared.....

    Change your tactics CNN, we all know that you're playing both sides. Come on now, try to keep up.....

    February 13, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Nick

    Rep. Chris Van Hollen, The Chair of the DCCC needs to be replaced. His comments are reflective of "old time politics" He doesn't get the new wave of politics sweeping over the country. Old habits may die hard, but todays new and young voters put this habit to rest last Nov. 4th. Change with the times Mr. Van Hollen, or you new title will be, Mr. not Senator.

    February 13, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. malclave

    Way too early to tell. Yeah, Obama has made a bunch of mistakes, but Americans explicitly did NOT want someone who knew what he was doing in the White House.

    If Obama can get his act together, get Pelosi in line, and start to actual govern instead of campaign, the Democrats can legitimately maintain their majority.

    If he keeps on the way he's started, the only thing that can save them are the partisanship of the media and organized voter fraud... but hey, that's why he wants to run the census, right?

    February 13, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Steve O

    After reading this, I have lost a lot of respect for CNN. We are three weeks into a new administration and this idiot, and I do mean idiot, is calling he game. I have no idea what each party's political fortunes are going to be two weeks from now let alone two years from now. For anyone to throw this out as fodder for discussion is looking for entertainment value and not to inform. Stop with your endless speculations and prognostications as if you are hoping to guide us listeners like a herd of sheep into giving you another cliffhanger election to report on. We have four years to judge this administration and we know what we are doing.

    February 13, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Denver Dem insult to challenged people

    @Denver Dem

    The term retard is highly offensive. The pc term is mentally challenged. Why don't you go to Texas and live with the Bushes you Nazi!

    February 13, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. FOR THE PEOPLE

    I WOULD THINK THE REPUBLICANS WOULD BE IN MORE TROUBLE IN 2010 SINCE THEY RAN THIS COUNTRY IN THE GROUND AND THEY HAVE REPEATEDLY CHOSEN THEIR PARTY OVER THE WELFARE OF THIS COUNTRY WITH THEIR VOTE ON THE STIMULUS BILL ETC.

    IT SEEMS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NEVER LEARNS!

    February 13, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Moe, NY

    No. The Dems will still be cleaning up the mess made by the Republicans. No matter what spin the Republicans put on the mess this country is in, it happened on the Republican/Conservative watch. I suggest that the Republicans accept the blame and start working to help fix this mess, instead of being obstructionists.

    February 13, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. ab

    i can not believe how many people are so brainwashed. the government is for the people and run by the people. since when is the government suppose to fix bad choices people make, ie buying a house they can not afford, going into debt by putting everything on their charge card and then can not pay the bill, banks loaning money to people that can not afford it, but was told by the government to loan the money. why should my hard working tax money go to help people who made bad choices, that's what charities are for. put the money in education, small businesses, and people who help protect our country, state, towns and cities.

    February 13, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Irene, TX

    Stir things up, confuse everyone, excite the crowd, don't let the public catch a breath, bash, brainwash, oppose or plain sabotage, bring as much mud from the bottom as you can and swim back to power in murky waters... GOP lost whatever shame it might have had initially. I can't believe this is going on in America in thistime of hardships. More like a pack of mad dogs fighting their mortal enemies for the bones they are about to lose while the country needs unity more than anything else. Like it is possible to fit entire America, every trouble, big and small, every long-standing problem into this stimulus package, like the Reps are in any position to judge. Does anyone remember much debate over non-bid contracts for bloody oil money? God, I can't even imagine what would the Reps do with a card like that in their hands. If they are so smart and caring, where have they been for the last 8 years? They went as low as threatening their own party members with phone calls, they won't stop at anything!!! Last time I read it was Italian, Russian, Colombian mafia who would use such methods.

    Please, be strong, President Obama. We are with you.

    February 13, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Glenda

    I am really trying to be patient with CNN. You are losing your objectivity. Did a GOP take over the station? You guys were the well-grounded, neutral reporting agency just last year. What happened?

    The GOP is in trouble - they are sabotagers and it is obvious to the American public. Where are you polling ?????

    February 13, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Once you vote Black

    Barack HUSAIN Obama or Big Daddy O is running circles around you chumps!
    The problem with the GOP is they do not know why they were beet in the General Election. They think it was because people did not like Palin, the Media did them in, or McCain was not conservative. But until they are ready to take a hard look at the truth of the matter, that they are seen as a small tent, mean party, and that the view they have are only shared by 1/3 of the people, they will never stop lurching to the right, pushing independents away, and getting clobbered. In fact I predict they take a licking in 2010 and break into 2 parties in 2012. That will give us 4 more years of rule by the great Muslim Obama.

    Its like when that guy said I am going use this foot to kick you on that side of your face, and there is nothing you can do about it. I think that was Chuck. What ever happend to PUMA?

    February 13, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. K Fergus

    The reason so many parties are ineffective is because they worry too much about whether they are going to be re-elected and not enough about what must be done to help the country out of the messes they create. Common sense goes out the window!!!

    So far, the Dems are doing what they promised. They certainly can't be held accountable for the stubbornness of the Repugs who refuse to play nice in the sandbox. Republicans are acting like whinny spoiled brats.

    Time to grow up Repugs.

    February 13, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Why are my comments being censored.

    I agree that CNN must of felt bad about the whining the GOP did when the Dems won the 2008 election. CNN fell for it so now they have republicans censoring these postings.

    February 13, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Joe the blogger

    If the repeal NAFTA and CAFTA they will be the only party left in existance, then those who supported those treasonous soverienty destroying agreements can be sent to guantanamo for torture.

    February 13, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. irish

    Wow, I actually don't see all the liberal ranting posts going on like CNN is known for. You know the one's that have absolutely no facts based into them. What's wrong liberals ? Not such a hot stimulas bill after all Huh? The Democrates will be done in 2010. Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Schummer ( ignorant creep), and all other democrates that have shoved this piece of garbage down our throats. Obama, Where is the transparency that you promised in Goverment. You know, the 48 hours for the citizens to review any bills put fourth. You must of flip flopped on that just like you flip flopped on not hiring any lobbiest in your administration. Oh, by the way. Thanks for the $13.00 a paycheck , which you will tax anyway. I'll be sure to buy a new care when I recieve the first installment.

    February 13, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Ann

    That is great. It took ReTHUGlicans 8 years to totally destroy the economy and the country and Obama and team are expected to fix it in two. Obama said it would take a while for the country to get back on track that it would get worse before it got better.

    All ReTHUGlicans should be thrown in jail for being traitors.

    February 13, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Terry, TX

    If this is how Pelosi and Reid are going to the show... it doesn't surprise they are going down the tubes. They didn't read it....

    This 1,100 page bill was up and running at mid-night.... the House has already voted.... the Senate is expected within the hour....
    Did Anyone Read It???
    Now Pelosi leaves town for 8 days.

    February 13, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Nick

    Lets see. It took 8 years for us to grow tired of Bush, 5+ years for Vietnam, 6 years and counting for Iraq , and 3 whole weeks for Pres. Obama and He still hasn't solved all are problems. Boy, we sure do need a Third Party.

    February 13, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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