(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.
If healthcare passes, the terrorists are tried in NYC and cap and trade as well as illegal immigration bills pass, after the 2010 election, maybe there will be 150 Democrat congressman left. And that includes the ones that cheat to get reseated.
Sure they've got a shot.
If they stand up and take responsibility for all of the destruction and devastation their failed policies on national security, the economy, health care reform and social issues have left in their wake, if they apologize for them, if they promise to turn away from them and to govern in the interests of the people and not just the war machine, corporate welfare, the absolute looniest of loony churches, spendy lobbyists and the scary things lurking under the beds of children then maybe - just maybe - they will have demonstrated that they are a governing philosophy worthy of our time and consideration and not just a passel of craven stooges and flacks for some bizarre plutocracy with a jaw-droppingly low approval rating among the general public.
Steele finally got one thing right.......the GOP will not take over the House, they also will not take over the Senate and they will not take back the White House.......The one thing that is going to continue to cause the Republicans to lose is the constant hate and their desire for Obama to FAIL.......their unwillingness to work with this President and his administration.......we never hear any solutions from them to the problems this country is facing all we hear is FEAR, SCARE, LIES, and NO NO NO to everything......they don't care about America or the people, if they did they would be working with this President to solve our problems........and I speak as a former Republican......never again will I vote for one of them until they can show they care about all the people of this country and when they start caring about the problems that the less fortunate are facing ......they onlly care about their Party, the rich, and big bussinesses.....this country has changed and the GOP is not willing to make the changes within their own party to work for this Country or the people......
Does it matter?! It seems to be more about PARTY than about people! I am a Democrat who has voted for Republicans as half of my family are Republicans who have voted for Democrats. It's the individual politician not the party I vote for and I would hope that that individual politician would vote for the people and not for the party.
Most times, my votes have been spot on BUT not always.
Steele is correct. Gee, never thought I'd type that sentence.
Obama has a true hope, Steele has no hope (Party of No Hope).
A lot depends on Obama–if he signs the health care travesty into law, he's going to give the GOP an enormous boost and encourage a lot of Independents to vote Republican, if only to defend their wallets from further Democratic financial rape.
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 elected or re-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.
Uh oh! Seems the "Man of Steele" is in a quandary! He's going to feel the wrath of the REAL Republican party cheif...Rush Limbaugh!
What they havent figured out about independents is we are mad at both parties slimebags. Incumbents who have shown their skunk stripes in both parties will fail and that is what this country needs. You think you are winning favor with thes radical teabaggers and this obstructive talk and action you are not. You are a big part of the overall problem and show disdain for the country as well as our President. UGH...
This man is such an idiot. Is this idiot attempting reverse psychology? Stop it!
Michael Steele comments are of no significance. Who cares what the Republican party thinks or does.
GOP = Amerian Al Quaeda - they try to make us constant in fear of our lives (as terrorists do).
Vote them ALL out, and keep them off TV
Not one Republican voted to keep this country from going into another depression, and they think that somehow they should be rewarded? Perhaps Republicans should be asking why their leaders didn't support the actions of Bernanke, who is a Republican. Is he the only one of them who puts country b'fore politics? Apparently.
The republican party would not take back the house...The republican are the worst politicians
vote Republican out of the office 2010
My prediction: Little to no gain for Republicans in 2010, perhaps 6-10 seats in the house, 3 or 4 in the Senate. 2012 Obama wins re-election but the Republicans then pick up a solid number of seats in both House and Senate, meaning a bit more balance between the branches.
Ed Steele’s as incompetent as the teleprompter president! The Republicans can hang the health care bill on the Democrats and we can vote them out of office. In 1994 historians say the Democrat loses was a slaughter; the 2010 and 2012 election cycle is going to be a massacre.
higher home foreclosure rate
401k in the tank
tax evading Democratic Party
tax evading Obama administration
the “Porkulus” Spending bill
out of control budget
health care reform disaster
Depressing being an American under the Obama administration.
Party A in the white house and Party B in charge of congress creates gridlock and nothing gets done.
Don't want to help the GOP, however, they refuse to "get" that we, the People, rejected their vile politics!
No clear thinking American has forgotten the vile campaign in which a decorated Vietnam Veteran, Sen. John Kerry was "swift boated"!
No one has forgotten Palin's rant, about "Obama palling around with terrorists!"
Nor have we forgotten the shouts at GOP rallies, "Kill him!" that caused such a stir with the Secret Service.
The fact is that Republican's only strategy is to ...... spew hate, tell lies, FEAR MONGER (that's their strength) and cause division!
We are sick and tired of Republicans who offer no new solutions, no new ideas, only the same old vitriolic politics.
Mr. Steele, Americans are sick of hate, lies, fear & division.
Party Purity above COUNTRY, FAMILY, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, etc. Rush Limbaugh is the ruler of the Republican Party and gives Cheney, Limbaugh, Palin, Fox News their talking points.
ha ha ha ha
The party that will do better in the 2010 elections has not been decided yet. There are a dozen unpredictable events that will occur in the next 10 months that will decide the election.
The issues on which the election will be decided are:
1. Personal scandals will burn a few more important politicians. Depending on who they are, opinions might change. Personally, I hope more Republicans get caught with their girlfriends and fewer Democrats get caught stealing from the public. Of course, both Democratic and Republican leaders are sleeping with their girlfriends AND stealing, but it all depends on who gets caught.
2. A terrorist incident may occur. I know that Republican leaders pray for one every night. (Don't think I'm kidding.)
3. If more jobs are created, Democrats will be happy and Republicans will be sad.
Who in their right mind thinks the repubs will take over the house?
Not going to happen, I'm a republican, and I know this..
It is widely accepted that the repubs will gain approx. 10 seats in the house.
and possibly 4 in the Senate. Anyone who says the repubs will take back the house is in need of mental help.
But, the loss of even one senate seat is catastrophic for the dems. Why do you think they are trying to push this mandatory health insurance garbage through before the next election?
Won't take over the house, but will be very close. America is disgusted over these lefties jamming thru trillions of dollars of wasteful spending. And the backdoor deals which have led to the most corrupt administration in recent history. Dem Bloodbath in 2010, hip hip hooray!! The repeal all of this BS.
It sound like the looney left may be geting a bit nervous.
Incredibly, the GOP is still focused on power and not on public service. After these past several years, there is NO way our family would take my former Republican Party serious for governing consideration.
The GOP sadly continues to lose credibility with its absurd rhetoric instead of substance...Party First is NOT a good platform.
Americans First...all of them.