(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections, predicting that the GOP will not retake the House in 2010.
Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity Monday night, Steele suggested the Democrats' current 79-seat advantage in the chamber is too big a hurdle to overcome.
"We are beginning to do assessments on the individual races, but I think overall, given what this administration's proclivities are, we are going to see nice pick ups in the House," he said.
But asked directly if the party had a shot at taking over the House, Steele responded: "Not this year."
But a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee vigorously disagreed with Steele's assessment, saying the GOP has a "very real shot" at wining the chamber.
"The NRCC's goal...has always been to recapture the majority in 2010," spokesman Ken Spain said. "Independent political analysts and even liberal columnists have stated that Republicans have a very real shot at taking back the majority in 2010. Make no mistake about it, we are playing to win."
Given the current Democratic majority, Republicans would need to win at least 40 seats to regain control of the chamber - a sizeable but not unprecedented number. In the historic 1994 midterm elections, 54 seats switched from Democratic to Republican. Steele declined to give a number on how many seats he is hoping to take from the Democrats.
While it is common for party leaders to downplay expectations ahead of an election cycle, congressional Democrats are pouncing on Steele's prediction.
"If the NRCC hasn't convinced the Republican National Committee chairman they can win, it's no wonder that Tea Party activists, Republican small donors, and Republican House Members are not confident and have failed to invest in the NRCC," said Jennifer Crider, Democratic Congressional Committee spokeswoman.
both parties are bad. Barack Obama atleast hasn't started a new war; on the other hand, our national debt is higher than ever. I just don't agree with spending money to save money in the future. If it was a feasible solution, private citizens would do it. They don't.
Healthcare has taken preminance lately; the bill is a huge failure. Liberal or conservative, all my friends agree it is bad.
The GOP will more than likely fair well in 2010, but realistically, they can't take the House or the Senate.
good for you mr steele, you knew what proclivities meant.
we can only hope and pray that we will not have republicans in the majority any time soon – you guys have done enough damage.
AMERICANS are going to vote the Democratic House and Senate out!! Not the GOP or NRCC.
I believe the Repblicans are Republicans first and Americans second or third. What is best for the USA is non of thier concern but what is best for the Republican party comes first and foremost.
The only way the Republicans can take over the House is if they stop being the party of NO and start coming up with positive suggestions and solutions to the problems facing our country. Their laissez faire policies between 1994 and 2006 are what got us into this mess in the first place. They have tried to fillibuster down every positive effort that has been proposed for the betterment of this country. They block Judicial nominations that they were screaming needed to be filled during the Bush Administration (after screaming they were unnecessary during the Clinton Administration). They seem to take positions that marginalize them more and more into a regional (Southern) party. This latter item is truely amusing considering the party started as standing for a strong central government (not the Federalism they currently espouse) from the industrializing Northeast. Currently none of the Republican Party leaders in either the House or Senate has the gravitas and dignitas of Newt Gingrich or Bob Dole. As long as their current leadership keeps allowing Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney to define where the Republicans stand they will loose more and more support.
Republicans win the House in 2010.. to do what?.. We already know what they did last time they were in power.....don't we?
2 things... in '94, the GOP had a brand and money; in '94 the GOP had not subjected civilization to Bush/Cheney.
I suspect that not even Diebold can swing an election result toward 20% of the electorate, particularly agains Democrats with 5 or 6 times their funding.
These liberal dimwits don't realize that the America public realizes they were duped last election and is smartening up. Republicans are on the rise in every reliable poll, while Democrats are sinking. These same Liberals who bash Bush constantly are too stupid to realize that Obama has embrace most of Bush's foreign policies: keeping the Patriot Act, intercepts, wiretaps, renditions, the concept of tribunals, Predator attacks, forward offensive strategies in Afghanistan, and the Bush-Petraeus timetable in Iraq.
Keep ruining the country Dems and Repubs will be back in power in no time
If we do not take it over in 2010, then we will finish taking it over in 2012 and boot nobama the same year.
Congressmen who have been responsive and thoughtful to their constituents will be reelected, those that have not been, won't be re-elected. Really doesn't matter if they are Dem or Rep. You'd expect that some close races that could have gone either way might go the other way, and since there are more Dems than Reps, the Reps should win more seats since the Dems won't have Obama's coattails this time around.
Maybe Reid will lose to a Republican. If Ensign wins, that will show that Republicans don't care about adultery and we should take adultery off the list of the 10 COMMANDMENTS. So, if there is a GOD, Ensign won't win. If he does win, it proves there is no God or that God is irrelevant to republicans.
True that and for a long time.......Too pure for you, token Steele, yet?
He's right, 79 seats isn't going to happen, especially if the Dems are able to pass a health care bill. They could make some inroads but not 79 seats. The Senate could be another issue. Not in 2010 but...
When is this moron going to realize he does not speak for let alone lead the republican party! Michael Steel has to have the IQ of a 5 year old if he doesn't realize he is a token black face for all the racists in his party to to hide behind to appear politically correct!
Steel, next time you are in meeting of the movers and shakers of your party, look around and see how many other minorities are in the room with you. Then ask yourself what you did to deserve being the party leader! It's obvious your intelligence has nothing to do with it (you prove that everytime you open your mouth). Could it be because you would be a perfect tool for Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and Palin? There was a term coined to describe people like you....how sad!
The remaining Republicans- the hardcore Christian right are nothing more and nothing less than Taliban with bibles.
What was Hannity's response when Steele made this very truthful statement? Did he pass out, stutter NO you are wrong, exhibit heart pains? What? Promise to have the GOP go back to their conservative roots by promising to lower taxes for the rich? What?
GOP will not take over the House in November. I guess that means the Tea Partiers won't "take back the country" on the 20th of this month.
Before I would vote ever Republican (unlikely) I would like to see their plans – right now I don't see doodley squat. Their only campaign agenda is "I'm not them" (which kind of worked for Obama). Yeah – the neocons are scary. If they would break away from them I think they would have a real shot.
The Republcans are terrorist, periot. They are Repu al-Qaeda
The Party of NO has NO shot. The Democrats have Campaign material coming out their ears. If I was the GOP, I'd start Campaigning now for 2024 before it's too late. Obama 2012, Clinton 2016-2024.
What's the problem here? Steele told the truth. Do you think this country is ready for the Republicans to take control of any part of the government any time soon after they almost destroyed it? For God's sake, we are still trying to dig out of the hole while the Republicans are just sitting on the sidelines and not helping out. We the voting public don't have short memories in case the media forgets. Steele knows this, and God knows I dont care for the man or his politics. He is on the wrong side of history as far as I'm concerned, but he is right on this one.
nice echo chamber here.
the democrats spent the last 8 years doing the same thing you accuse the GOP of.
the democrats are currently doing the same thing you accuse the GOP of doing the past 8 years.
the democrats have complete control over our government. and yet they still complain about bush! hilarious. newsflash: the democrats are in control. all complaints should be sent to where the buck stops.
I can't wait for the full GOP take-over of the government. I look forward to hardly any taxes at all and no more worry about global climate change.
The GOP is in huge trouble, split between wacky and wackier still, mired in corruption and scandal, all the while the Obama administration is working for all Americans.
I'm an IND/NA voter and I see zero reason to vote R
They can't agree with one another and we're supposed to turn the House of Representatives over to these clowns?