October 22nd, 2009
04:15 PM ET
5 years ago

First on the Ticker: Leading Democrat warns of tough midterm

Chris Van Hollen warned fellow Democrats that they are heading into a challenging midterm election.
Chris Van Hollen warned fellow Democrats that they are heading into a challenging midterm election.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen warned fellow Democrats Thursday that they are heading into a challenging midterm election, but assured them that everything is being done to head off major losses in 2010.

"Historically, we're facing a headwind this cycle with a record number of Frontline Members, a smaller playing field of challenger races, and a difficult fundraising environment," Van Hollen wrote in a six-page memo sent to House Democrats and obtained by CNN. "We've known about that challenge from the start and have been aggressively preparing for it, applying the lessons from the last two successful cycles."

Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, points to 20 Republican seats that he thinks can turn Democratic in 2010. Of those 20, Van Hollen singled out open seats in Delaware, Illinois and Pennsylvania, as well as the Louisiana seat held by GOP Rep. Joseph Cao, as "four strong pick up opportunities."

"As we discussed at the beginning of this year, after House Democrats' big wins over the past two cycles – 54 seats in some of the reddest districts in the country – our best defense this cycle is a strong offense," Van Hollen wrote.


Despite Democratic fundraising success and Van Hollen's analysis that the GOP is a damaged brand, he conceded that historical trends run against the party. "Since Abraham Lincoln's Presidency, 22 of 24 newly elected Presidents saw their party lose seats in Congress in the following midterm election," he said.

And because of the challenge facing Democrats in 2010, Van Hollen urged his colleagues to become involved in helping to preserve their majority in the House.

"We need every Member of our Caucus to pitch in," he said.


Filed under: Democrats
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Doug, New Jersey

    Don't worry Chris, not a lot of decent people in Maryland, its mostly lib.

    October 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Gary's Opinion

    Yeah maybe if you would listen to us once in a while it wouldn't be such a tough midterm election....healthcare reform Yes! Public Option No! Deficit spending No! Pork/Stimulus No! Keep Gitmo Open! It's not all that complicated.

    October 22, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Vets4Obama

    Time to buck the odds. Democrats get out and vote in full force. Take no seat for granted. Hold on to every single seat possible, and take as many new ones as we can.

    We are DOOMED if a republican ever gets elected again. When republicans get elected, our country goes to hell in a handbasked and our family values are tossed out the window. We must return to strong moral values and responsible governing, which democrats encompass far and above the domestic terrorist sect known as the GOP.

    October 22, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    And if the Dems insist on ignoring both common sense and the very clearly stated wishes of the American people by blowing yet another trillion bucks on their health care insanity, it's going to be a very tough mid-term.

    October 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Representative Van Hollen is a day late and a dollar short on this issue. What were they thinking when they bailed out GM and Chrysler and then passed a $1 trillion spending bill all without any Republican support and then nothing worked? They bet the farm and lost. See ya.

    October 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Bren

    If I were the Democrats, I would be worrying about how many Democrats are going to be unseated--with their seats going to the Republicans.

    All articles, polls, etc. are now indicating-–that the Democrats have a LOT to worry about in 2010 and 2012--as they are going to get clobbered.

    They are now so worried about the elections-they are thinking about running someone against Obama in 2012.

    There are at "least" 49 moderate/blue dog Democrats in conservative districts that are up for reelection in 2010--these were all districts that were won by McCain.

    October 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Wake Up

    How could anyone support any one that supports Obama's ridiculous policies. Throw the bumbs out!! Need congress that will support a reduction in spending, reduction in deficit and power to the states!!!

    October 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. mike

    You idiots on the left control the House, Senate and have President obummer and still can't get anything done. I know, blame Bush, we inherited this blah blah blah. You will have a tough midterm because you are all incompetent.

    October 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. vic nashville , Tn

    Democratic party is panic party

    Only 20 % identify them republicans so nothing to worry

    Pass the health care bill with public option and pass the Comprehensive immigration low

    Everything will be fine

    If republicans want to gain the power they have ignore FOX and Rush they won’t do that so no more republicans

    October 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. NICE REAL NICE

    well by the looks of your george bush poll... it is now for sure. cnn is an arm of the obama administration, not a REAL news source.

    bye now.

    October 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Clint

    Dems – Stop worrying about polls and pundits and keep showing some leadership. The country is getting the picture that the GOP is content to stand on the sidelines and hope that the country fails. Things are not perfect, but at least they are considerably better than a year ago. Be confident that voters have brains and will see the big picture when it is time to vote.

    October 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Troubled Independent

    Of course, it will be a tough midterm for the demofats. Four years in control of the congress and an inexperienced community organizer for a president - what do you expect?

    He's worse than Bush (and I thought that would be impossible)!

    My vote goes to the Republican candidate(s)!

    October 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Steve in Denver

    Get your butts to work! Get meaningful health reform done, and help Obama get our two wars in order, and with a little help from a continued recovery, 2010 will be a great year for Democrats!

    Drop the ball on health care reform, and it will be a blood bath.

    October 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Hugo

    Vote them ALL OUT, Vote in an Independent in 2012 that is immune to the special interests and lobbyists corrupting money machine. Ideology is a great thing to debate and theorize on but reality does not always appease the whimsical views for a society based on ideological utopia. We need a strong LEADER, not an empty suit scrambling for popularity. We need a LEADER that will take control of our Nation with the idea in mind that we are in serious economic trouble, one that truly realizes the need of a major Government overhaul. We as a Nation have allowed the liberal politically correct lawyers in Washington the power to manipulate our society to appease the MINORITY concerns, it no longer represents or protects the Majority of our people. They have dumbed down our children, misspent our tax dollars fraudulently, ignored our Constitutional laws and have pretty much given our country away to any piece of foreign trash that decides they want to come here for a free ride on the American tax dollar.

    VOTE THEM ALL OUT, BREAK THEIR CYCLE OF CORRUPTION IN 2010 AND 2012!

    October 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. DA

    If they would stop messing around and back the leader of the Party..ie The President on things he is trying to get accomplished, they wouldn't be in this situation!!!

    October 22, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. That should do it

    By handing out anti-depressants to Democrats next November...

    October 22, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Mark

    hmmm i wonder why?

    October 22, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Proud Member..Party of No

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

    The people are starting to wake up and realize what a disaster the democrats are.

    October 22, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The new leader of the Republican Party is Dick Cheney so it's going to be real tough on Dems.

    October 22, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Chris D.

    Voting DEM in 2010!!!!

    October 22, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. X

    Rubbish. The GOP is in the toilet. The only way the Dems will lose is if they allow their more conservative members to go to bat for their corporate masters and derail health insurance and regulatory reform. If they suceed in passing real health and regulatory reforms and don't let these sell-outs call the shots, they wil bury the GOP in a landslide.

    October 22, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    Democrats are facing a "headwind" because the party has been hijacked by the radical left fringe. The democratic platform is big government, nationalized industries, government bailouts, union handouts, record deficits and pork spending.

    I have to hand it to the dems. It took America 6 years to realize the republicans had gone out of control. It only took 3 to realize the democrats are even worse.

    America needs a divided government. Put the republicans in control of Congress if we have a democratic president. The insanity of the democratic left fringe is destructive to America.

    October 22, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Rob

    No, not tough at all, from the standpoint of the useless Dems will be voted out of office, the Republicans will take control of the House and Senate, and then real change can happen and America can be on its way to being a great nation again.

    October 22, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. No More Incumbents

    Gee, there's a shock. The kool-aid must be wearing off.

    October 22, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Bobby

    It will be, and should be a very tough mid-term for the Dems. 4 years in control of Congress and not much to show, unless you call record spending something to write home about. By the way, I don’t. What happen to all the “Change” propaganda we heard about last year and working together with the Republicans? Some of the people might have changed in Washington however, their actions did not! The spending even got worse and lower revenues!

    Why do the Dems still bring up Bush? Folks, he is gone, get over it!

    October 22, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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