January 5th, 2010
03:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele: GOP will not take over House in 2010, NRCC disagrees

Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections.
Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections.

(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.


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soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Todd

    Funny logic conservatives have. Unemployment is up because of republicon mismanagment. if not for the spending bills they all howl about unemployement would be minimum 15% probably more like 25% - imagine if the 1.3 millions jobs associate with auto were allowed to abruptly dissappear, as conservatives urged. What kind of ripple would that have had? And spending to fix things that were neglected for decades because of the stupidity of reaganism is an investment and a job saver.

    As for higher taxes???? My taxes are down thaks to Democrats. I was able to do home repairs I could not afford before, it has saved my family a ton in heating this winter. No one has had a tax increase since Democrats took control. The only people pised for one are those 1/4% who are set to inherit more than 3.5 MILLION so boo hoo for them. Wah wah wah –

    Funny little conservatives think we do not remeber bush running trillions in debt for reasons that actually harmed the country, like Iraqnam and hand outs to billionairs and Exxon. They think we forget that reagan and bush I ran up 5 trillion in debt for less than no reason, or that they stuck us with a 11 bn tab for their dregulation scheme of the S and L industry.

    Conservatives crashed the nation. Now they want us to think that the burning wreckage they left behind them came after they left office. They are either delusional or they think we are.

    January 5, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    While it is common for party leaders to downplay expectations ahead of an election cycle, congressional Democrats are pouncing on Steele's prediction.
    _____________________________________________________
    Congressional Democrats who can are bailing out. They know what not listening to the American people has done to their chances in 2010. Gone. It's more fun to retire than to go through an election and lose. The smart ones are finding another line of work now.

    January 5, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Connie, Texas

    Well, I for one will be sending my money to the Dems. The Rethugs are plumb crazy. Those tin-foil, torture, birther, deather people don't know the meaning of the word "facts". The Dems are not without their faults but at least they're not ready for the looney farm, yet.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    January 5, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. sharon

    so........the GOP thinks it can get itself together by 2010 election time?????///////// Good one.

    January 5, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. mjmichael

    I have never heard such lunicy that comes from the above liberals. Hey vet, you say Obama has kept many of his promises, well he has broke many more. How bout putting this whole health care mess on C Span just like he promised.

    January 5, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. lifelong democrat

    Steele is correct, the GOP will take between 20-40 seats in Congress in November 70 seats is a big number to hurdle, In the senate democrats will lose their majority. So far, 11 democrats in Congress declare retirement, some won't ran for re-election, one already switched to Republican.

    Like other lifelong democrats, I'd stay at home this November. I'm not happy what my party is doing right now, corruption out in the open; bribery, kickbacks and lord knows what else.

    January 5, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Dial them WAY down, Steele. The American public are sick and tired of all the failed policies of your party, your lack of new ideas, your insistence on trying to tear down our president and our country, and all your lies, division and hate.

    The majority of Americans have seen through you, and you will be mightily rejected in 2010.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    January 5, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Republican party and their tea baggers are reminders why we must destroy al Qaeda and the Taliban, they are just as dangerous and as we've experienced, very destructive to the American people.

    January 5, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. normajean

    As a Democrat, I give the Republican voters credit for being aware that their party, in an attempt to dismantle the current administration , have done as much damage to their own people as they have to us. Surely there are a great number of Republicans who have lost jobs and don't have proper health insurance for their families. Millions of hard working, good people have been devistated by this economic mess and the current attempt to distruct the other party helps no one.I personally could not vote a Republican in to any office in 2010.Everybody's hurting and this would not help.

    January 5, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. RTB

    Without the pseudo jive talk, Steele actually sounds somewhat intelligent.
    He maybe absolutely out of touch with reality, but he's a republican.
    Truth is not a Republican strong suit.

    January 5, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. RTB

    Without the pseudo jive talk, Steele actually sounds somewhat intelligent.
    He maybe out of touch with reality, but he's a republican.
    Truth is not a Republican strong suit.

    January 5, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. lifelong democrat

    I don't like Bush, but at least under his administration, I feel safe, my husband has a job, my two boys going to college has jobs to pay for their tuition. Nowadays, I don't feel safe anymore, my husband was laid off from his job for 25 years last summer, my two boys has to quit college, they were laid off from their job. Where's the hope and change Obama and my party promised? All I have now is misery and desperation, the future is bleak for my family. We're living at our wit's end, no jobs to be had out there. We're on the brink to be welfare recipient. Some of you here might be very rich, you have no worries like paying utility bills, buying groceries to feed your family, or maybe you're living in the basement of your parents – you got it made.

    January 5, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Lisa in Shelton

    after the miserable job Repugs did for years, and the excellent job Obama and the Dem majority are doing at moving forward with important legislation to benefit all not just the rich; there is no hope for the interim elections to yield big changes – but it pains me to agree with Steele on anything.

    January 5, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Richard in Oakland

    We had a republican bloodbath the last two elections, which they brought on themselves. Don't be so sure dems will suffer huge losses. Once health care passes most people will see the benefits, which could never have happened under the conservatives. And if jobs pick up, which is uncertain but could happen, look for many more solid years of democrat control of congress and the white house. Let the conservatives keep complaining. As they become a smaller and smaller party their influence will continue to wane.

    January 5, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Tony

    We the People need one of three things to happen to stop this corrupt administration and its unethical congressman.

    1. Massachusetts to elect the Republican on 1/19/10.

    2. Some Leftie nutjob to realize this isn't right and its un constitutional and start the thing all over again. But this time correctly, with small targeted bills that aren't loaded down with special interest gifts and bribes.

    3. A Dem Senator to bite the dust.

    I'm good with any of the three.

    January 5, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Independent

    Until the Repubs learn to be civil and patriot to the country and not the party (no matter who is the President)...I hope they never control anything but their stupid tantrums

    January 5, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. JSL

    G reed
    O ver
    P eople

    They'll offer some really good, down to earth ideas for ordinary folk to get elected. And once they're in...facism.

    it's worked since the 80's.

    January 5, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Steele is correct. Despite possible gains that the GOP could make in the mid-term elections of 2010, there little chance of the GOP making up the 40 something seats in the House. The Senate is a different issue. It would be nice for the Republicans actually cooperate with the Democrats on working through legislation.

    January 5, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. billy123

    Chariman Steel thisguy is a peace of work. The GOP will say anything regardless if it is true or false.

    Please votre "NO" in 2010 for the GOP. By voting NO for any GOP running for office the GOP may understand the American public has had enough.

    January 5, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Jojo

    The GOP is an obsolete organization that supports one narrowly defined demographic – a small minority of what America is or needs. Steele is talking to the wind.

    January 5, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Edith, Michigan

    The republicans will not take over the house in 2010.

    Four years is not enough time to forget the devastation and havoc
    the GOP wreaked on this country.

    Democrats 10" 12' and forever.

    January 5, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Michael who?

    January 5, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. gt

    to be honest ...this country would be a lot better off if they all were to be replaced... both parties are corrupt,,they ,only try to help there own special interst groups,,, we need term limits bad,,,,

    January 5, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. liz

    I thought Fox News for a conservative network, what are you liberals blogging on our network? stick to you own...who knows what is going to happen in 2012? But, your guy is definitely not a leader or a protector...

    January 5, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. Mike1952

    They all need to go! Both parties.

    Nancy Penazi claimed this would be the most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history. Now they are negotiating the merged health insurance bill behind closed doors. Wingnut said it would be broadcast on C-Span. C-Span offered to do just that in a letter to Penazi and dingy Harry. They ignored the request. Harry howled in '06 about democrats not having what he called equal access to debate and negotiation. Now they run the most dishonest, closed , and unethical Congress ever (and that's saying something). All of them are liars, cheats, and are on the public dole to enrich themselves with no compassion for their constituents. They all (535) need to be defeated in the fall and replaced. We need term limits. They need to be denied their cadillac pension plan and go on social security. And they all need to go on the new health insurance system (if it passes).

    January 5, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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