December 17th, 2009
12:02 PM ET
11 months ago

DCCC chair: This isn't '94

Washington (CNN) – Polls show a rising anti-Washington sentiment, less-than-stellar approval ratings for a newly-elected Democratic president, and even worse for Congress - just as they did the last time Democrats lost control of the House and Senate – but there's no déjà vu among party leaders, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said Thursday: "This is not going to be 1994 all over again."

A spate of recent retirements among Democrats representing potential swing districts – including John Tanner of Tennessee, Dennis Moore of Kansas, Brian Baird of Washington and Bart Gordon of Tennessee – have also given political observers some 1994 flashbacks. But Van Hollen denied the moves signaled a trend. "We absolutely do not expect a large surge (in retirements) on the order of 1994," he said.

"We at the DCCC are very much on offense. Obviously we have a smaller playing field" for 2010 midterms because of wins in the majority of close races over the past two campaign cycles. There's "less territory (for Democrats) to compete in," he told reporters in a briefing at the Democratic National Committee.

And more for the GOP. Last year, President Obama won 34 congressional districts represented by Republicans. But John McCain took 49 districts that are currently represented by a Democrat in Congress. The first victory for nearly half of those members of Congress came in either the 2006 Democratic takeover year or the 2008 Obama vote surge.

On Thurday, the National Republican Congressional Committee released a memo boasting of recruits in 36 of DCCC's 43 DCCC Frontline districts, and candidates in 298 districts overall.

Van Hollen dismissed the numbers, pointing instead to the DCCC's massive cash-on-hand advantage over its Republican counterpart. "They're telling their candidates they have the resources to support them," said the Maryland congressman. "Their candidates better check the NRCC's books."

Van Hollen said Democrats would benefit from a stabilizing economy in 2010. "We haven't turned the corner yet, but we have stopped the free fall in a very short period of time, given what we inherited," he said.


Filed under: 2010 • DCCC • NRCC
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Right. 1994 is going to look mild in comparison to what's going to happen to the democrats in 2010.

    December 17, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The dems may be retiring or leaving office, but we the people sure wont put a republican in their place.

    December 17, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Tony

    He is correct it isn't going to be like 1994. ITS GOING TO BE ALOT WORSE FOR THE DEMS. Too many far left loonies moving the country in the absolute wrong direction.

    December 17, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    I think they all need to smoke a joint (instead of those Martinis!), Consider the Results of their actions, take a chill pill (See Your Free Doctors), and think about just who they are Becoming AND WY WE ALL Need to Put Up with YOU!!

    Don Miguel Ruiz has some great advice in "The Four Agreements".

    1. BE Impeccable With YOUR WORDS
    2. Take Nothing Personally
    3. Make NO Assumptions
    4. DO THE VERY BEST THAT YOU CAN.

    Now why can't we send Congress HOME? This is some easy stuff to learn, Folks! I think the local Grocer could do better, but Only if this One does not get overcome with the same Greed we now have Ruling over our LIVES in this "...dream of the planet..." Thanks, Don Miguel Ruiz! Save the Rhetoric for those who cannot rise above this Nut House!

    December 17, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    So true. If it was 1994, the GOPers would be ranting about how they want to destroy Medicare and Social Security, not pretending like they care about them. Whatever's convenient, right my wingnutty friends?

    December 17, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    So true. If it was 1994, the GOPers would be ranting about how they want to destroy Medicare and Social Security, not pretending like they care about them. Whatever's convenient, right my wingnutty friends?

    I believe Newtered let us all know when the GOPers took charge of Congress that they would be letting both of those "entitlement" programs "WITHER ON THE VINE." Seems they did a good job of that over the past 8 years, eh?

    December 17, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. It will be worse than 94'

    Americans have had enough......no socialism....no deficit spending.....
    no Obamacare.......no Pelosi and Reid......

    Obama is ONE and DONE.

    December 17, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Tom in Delaware

    He's right...it's not '94...it's the year of the Tea Party movement which means that the Liberals are going to get slaughtered in the polls...good riddance.

    December 17, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Carl Abernathy

    Retire or be thrown out, you liberal scumbags!

    December 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. HJA

    I love it . Obama hasn't been in office a year and the RepubliNAZIs scream he' not doing his job. The sad thing is a lot of stupid people listen to these clowns. They destroy the economy, look around and say Who, Me?I didn't do anything! and people believe them. Well I don't and I don't hesitate confronting these morons when they try to spew their bull on me. Funny thing is they can't refute what I say....they just get mad!

    December 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    No, it's not going to be 1994 all over again, it's going to be much, much, worse.

    And if the idiot Dems are actually dumb enough to pass any sort of health care "reform"–and it doesn't matter in the slightest whether it "reforms" anything or not, or what the details are–and Obama is dumb enough to sign it, it'll be an absolute blood-bath.

    It's not just the health care fiasco, it's this ridiculous cap-and-tax thing, the outrageous "stimulus" thing, and the generally arrogant, superior, and dictatorial attitude of the Democrats. They know what's right, not just for the country, but for all us dumb citizens too, and they have no intention of letting our childish whining interfere with their plans to do what they know is best for us, regardless of what we think.

    December 17, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. chris l

    yeah sure, good luck with that. The anti American fringe party formerly known as democrats are doomed in 2010 and as far as the ditherer and chief, one and done. DEFINITELY. Count on it.

    December 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Regardless of what happens I have decided I will never vote for a Republican again. I have witnessed what they have systematically done to tear our country apart. In my opinion they do not represent the values and beliefs of a majority of Americans – including religion (false prophets). And those who think they do are blinded by their relentless propaganda. They are ill-informed and ignorant because they are being used and do not realize it.

    December 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Where are the choices? Where do the American voters look to for relief from the out of control Congress and the size of the government and the size of the debt? Who do we trust? The Democrats? The GOP? No both of these parties are no longer representing the people. Both of these parties are bought and paid for by the Special interest groups, PACs, Unions, Wall Street, banking, global Corporations are all contributing billions to re-election funds that undermine the people's representation.
    I say in 2010 ask who is funding you representative? Look to see where the money is coming from? if the money comes from outside your district then who do you think they will represent if they are re-elected or elected? We need to bring these professional politicians back into line. We will demand that you run on the sweat and money from individual contributions from within your district only.

    December 17, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |