January 13th, 2010
02:55 PM ET
8 years ago

GOP sees a path to midterm victory

Washington (CNN)-– Less than 50 gets you 40. That's a rule of electoral math according to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, who is carefully tracking President Obama's approval rating 10 months before the midterm elections.

McCarthy believes that if Obama's approval rating dips below 50, then the GOP has a solid shot of picking up 40 Democratic-held seats – enough to wrest the House majority out of the party's hands. That majority would give Republicans a greater voice in shaping legislation, and the power to try and rework the health care bill as they see fit.

Currently, Democrats hold 256 seats in the House, while Republicans claim 178. There is one vacancy.

McCarthy is not the only Republican talking takeover. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, is also bullish on the GOP's prospects of a return to power – a notion that seemed remote this time last year.

But now, Cantor and McCarthy see a chance to re-take the Hill, counting on a nation fed up with one-party rule in Washington. The two congressmen laid out a hopeful scenario Tuesday evening, describing the GOP's path to victory to a small group of reporters. Cantor acknowledged it would be an uphill climb, but not an impossible one: "We believe we can take back this majority."

Still, the two Republican leaders acknowledged the stars must align for the GOP. Overwhelming voter angst with Washington must continue. The GOP will have to argue effectively against Obama's agenda while promoting their own policy solutions. And Republicans need to raise a flood of money to try and compete with Obama's fundraising prowess.

Expect Republicans to talk about cap-and-trade, the stimulus bill and, of course, health care in the coming months. Cantor said House Republicans will create a "21st Century Agenda for the Republican Party" somewhat similar to the "Contract with America" to help promote their agenda.

McCarthy, who is recruiting GOP candidates, said that they will have about 100 solid challengers for the 2010 election cycle, emphasizing that a quarter of them will be minority.

Still, for all the talk of seizing the speaker's gavel, the GOP has some internal housekeeping it must tend to. While Cantor sought to downplay any rifts, there is real anger from congressional Republicans with how Michael Steele is running the Republican National Committee. Some conservative activists are frustrated with the national leadership, and are expressing it publicly.

And there's another bit of campaign math that may stand between Republicans and their goal of a new majority: Congressional Democrats have a dismal 36 percent approval rating, according to a December Pew Research Center poll – but the GOP's, at 29 percent, is even worse.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter @prestoncnn

Filed under: GOP
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Mesa Mick

    This guy and his GOP partisans are absolutely delusional and seem to be functioning in an unknown reality.

    These comments and the supporting made up "math formula" being used by these looney tunes again proves there is a very, very thin line between reason and lunacy – They've crossed it right into LA-LA Land...

    January 13, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. RichP the Pocono's

    Get rid of the good old boys and the liberals in republican suits plus the ones who sell out to lobbyists padding their retirement accounts and you might just do it... But right now there is no difference between either of you.

    January 13, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Lets vote all repugs out of office!!!

    The lying repugs will not take over the majority. "Overwhelming voter angst with Washington must continue. The GOP will have to argue effectively against Obama's agenda while promoting their own policy solutions."

    This statement says it all, repugs are making sure that voters are angst with Washington. Also this last part of the statement about promoting their own policies...they have NONE!!!!

    The party of NO idea!!!

    January 13, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Mike

    No matter how bad the jobs situation is and how long the economy takes to recover, the majority of Americans still HATE the GOP! They don't stand for anything. Saying NO is not enough. How would that translate into a majority?

    January 13, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Sandra, Atlanta

    People would do well to remember who the GOP helped when they were in power. It was big business and the rich. How did their policies work for you. Even though they are talking about the right things, the American public would be better served to remember what they actually did (or didn't do).
    Heaven help us if they get power again.

    January 13, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Lee in TN

    If the current republican party (ruled by neo-con extremists) take control of the House or the Senate, the country is in real trouble. They would be able to stop all positive progress and thrust the U.S. back into the very policies that got us in trouble under the Bush/Cheney administration. It took less than 1 year for Bush to wipe out all of the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration and 7 more years to almost bankrupt the nation. How soon some people forget!

    January 13, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. dak

    Dream on Republicans. It might be possible if the Republican party had done something, ANYTHING, good for the country in the last year, but instead all they have done is criticize and obstruct without offering any CONCRETE solutions or ideas for improvement. Oh yeah . . . .they also lied and fear-mongered . . . . not the stuff leaders are made of. Sorry losers.

    January 13, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Peter s

    Please with all respect to the American people! can any sane person get in the booth and vote republican?. The party stinks like a third world public toilet! unless Americans have very short memory no one should even dream about GOP bearing in mind what they did to the US economy!! the trickle down theory was a sham!!

    January 13, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Gary

    GOPs path to victory is called Obama, Pelosi and Reid....those bondheads don't listen to us and we are fed up. Until there are viable 3rd party alternatives, Republicans regaining control of congress is our only hope to salvaging our economy and moving forward responsibly in the future.

    January 13, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Translation: The GOP will now turn the negativity, fabrication, obstruction, demogoguery and ideological rhetoric all up to 11. You think it was bad last year folks? By the time we reach the summer of 2010, these guys will have set a new standard for stupid. If you're a rational, reasonable person who wants to base decisions on facts, evidence and lessons learned from history, you might want to start considering just giving up and moving to EU or Australia. These people are hellbent on having absolute control and they've proven willing say to themselves "well, if we're going down, we're taking the Dems and the rest of the country with us."

    January 13, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. harold

    You Republicans had better talk with your party chairman who claims the republicans will not take over the House... Confusion in your party.?.......By the way just what would you do for the USA that you all did not get done the 8 years you Republicans...... were in power...?

    January 13, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Kevin in Ohio

    We will all see the democrat socialists out of office come November! Count on it!

    January 13, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. mike

    Keep on talking but when it comes to a debate what are you going to say
    the same all crap that got us in to this mess in the first place
    remember one thing the tea party is not happy either lets see
    what happens in florida

    January 13, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Minnesota gal

    Oh heck, they would see a patch to victory no matter what. They think all they have to do is say they want to win and people would vote for them. They have to remember they have eight years of low down and dirty politics and what they did to this country to overcome. IF THE PEOPLE SHOW UP TO VOTE ALL REPUBLICANS WILL BE FLUSHED.

    January 13, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Steve (the real one)

    40 seats is doable! The state of the economy will really dictate a 40 seat swing! In addition, any lingering anger from this health care fiasco will help replace Pelosi as speaker! My guess is the liberals will formulate another stimulard package in the attempt to falsely boast the economy. The problem is it will increase the debt, cause the dollar to fall, raise more taxes and ignite inflation! 40 seats? Highly doable!

    January 13, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Below 50% is buzz for – "we will spread as much garbage and untruths as possible so as to muddy the political field." How do you think "W" ever got elected governor in Texas? Karen Hughes got up at a big, public function in Ft. Worth and pointed out that incumbent Governor, Ann Richards had some friends that were lesbians and openly speculated that she, Ann, might be , too. Richards was finished. With three weeks before the election, she went from 7 points up to 6 points down, all because of the typical GOP tactic of attacking the personality and not the issues.

    Just wait until the national election in 2012, when they begin to point out, very openly, that Obama is Black, a devout Muslim, a terrorist, etc. – and they will, you can make book on it!

    Perhaps we Democrats should have pushed Bush's personal "accomplishments" more and he would never have gotten near the White House? Nah, because you would have had to dismantle the machine that actually "got" him elected in the first place.

    January 13, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. j

    I hope people remember the 8 years of Bush and how we ended up in two useless wars. It was the Republicans that led us into the current crisis the country. It's the Republicans that relied on deficit spending and it's the Republicans that created the huge deficit. I really hope people will remember all of that when they go to the polls. If there's any hope for positive change in this country it doesn't rest with Conservatives. When you go to the polls, just remember George W. Bush and the mess his leadership made of this country. Just remember that. The Democrats have only been in power for one year so give them a break and give them more time. Bill Clinton left office with a surplus. Remember that.

    January 13, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Jane

    Been there...........Done that! Remeber, this is the Party that actually dug the Hole that we are trying to crawl out of!!!!!

    Sore Losers!

    January 13, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. noneofyourbusiness

    Someone needs to check this man's Blood Pressure and perhaps a Urinalysis! The Republicans caused this mess over the last 8 years and this 'congressman' thinks the country will toss out Democratic politicians for Republican ones? Perhaps the RNC needs to add a 'reality plank' to its' platform.

    January 13, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. joec

    It may well be that the Republicans can take the House if the Democrats don't get their act together and craft an effective agenda that shines a light on the GOP's unwillingness to work across party lines to do the business of America, including health care reform, protection of our fragile environment and economic recovery. The Republicans have become the party of obstruction and the public needs to be reminded that. Also troublesome is this talk of another Contract with America type policy like that led by Gingrich during his House leadership. Let's not forget how that piece of work brought government and the country to a standstill.

    January 13, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Grrr-Awful-O

    Yep, it's definitely coming. Everyone remembers why we voted the democrats out last time by now.

    January 13, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Carole

    It's Wednesday.......this will NOT get POSTED.

    Yeah, right. With only 25% admitting to being Republicans. Not to mention 'more' Repubs are reitring than Dems.

    The Repubs held up unemployment and military funding. Sure....people will not remember they just say NO, NO and NO.

    January 13, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Chris D.

    So America, do we want john Boenhner as Speaker of the House, and Eric Cantor as majority whip? Do we want Mitch Mcconnell to be the Senate majority leader? I don't trust any of those characters........It's time for those who've had more than enough of the GOP, to unite against them..........I know everything is not rosey, as they once were. However I do beleive we are fighting to go in the right direction.........Rome wasn't built or destroyed in a day.

    January 13, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Marko

    Does anyone really want to go back to a Republican majority? I mean really now. Think back and remember what that time was like. Greed gone wild. Look at who makes up the tea party folks. Do you really want that mentality back? Religious extremists (American Taliban), out of site bonuses and executive pay being looked at flipantly with an attitude of, So what is the problem with that. They deserve it. The continuation of the widening of the gap between rich and poor. No solution to healthcare for all. Denial of climate change(can't say global warming). Having to listen to Newt Gingrich, John Boehner (isn't he so smug) and more Scalia's on the Supreme Court. Really if you are so afraid of government, then you should really be scared of corporations running the country. Really scared. You will be begging for government to come back. A corporation has no soul, therefore no empathy. For anyone or anything. Oh one more thing, we can see even more of Sarah Palin......

    January 13, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    I think we should give Republicans a taste of their own medicine in the mid-terms, for all they've done for us: Just say no on election day. One of my senators is up for re-election this year. I will be remembering how he told me he had to protect the profits of the insurance companies by voting against health reform, when I vote.

    January 13, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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